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Duquesne Symposium to Explore Work of Phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty

Duquesne University's Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center will hold its 31st annual symposium, Merleau-Ponty Into the Future, on Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Union.

This year's symposium will explore the work of noted phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty, with the goal of examining how his work might be refreshed in current conversations about aesthetics, psychology, ecology, geopolitics and feminism.

"Merleau-Ponty is one of the seminal figures in the phenomenological tradition," said Dr. Jeffrey McCurry, director of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center. "We are not interested in Merleau-Ponty only as a historical figure, but as a living voice in the philosophical conversation today."

Phenomenology, the philosophical study of how human beings experience being in the world, is a special focus at Duquesne.

"This approach is in line with Duquesne's historic commitment to phenomenology in a genuinely philosophical sense in which phenomenology offers insight and challenge to contemporary existence," McCurry explained.

Speakers at the free symposium include:

  • Dr. David Abram, cultural ecologist and author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology and The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World
  • Dr. Laura Doyle, professor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Dr. Galen Johnson, professor and chair of the philosophy department, University of Rhode Island
  • Dr. Gail Weiss, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences, George Washington University.

Prior to the symposium, Abram will present Wild Ethics: On Being Human in a More-Than-Human World on Saturday, April 27, from noon to 6:30 p.m. in Room 613 of the Union. The special appearance, hosted by the psychology department, is free and open to the public.

For more information on the symposium,contact phenomenology@duq.edu or 412.396.6038.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.