CFP: Rethinking Racism Through Embodiment and Place (A thematic stream for the 47th  Annual Meeting of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle)

part of: Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment: Between the Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Socio-Political
May 15, 2023, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Deakin University

Deakin Downtown
Melbourne 3008

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This event is available both online and in-person


Deakin University
Deakin University

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CFP: Rethinking Racism Through Embodiment and Place 

A thematic stream for the 47th Annual Meeting of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle 

4-6 December 2023 

In-person and virtual (hybrid) 

Deakin University, Melbourne / Narrm, Australia 

To many critical phenomenologists working on race, racism, and decoloniality, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical account of the body as central to all lived experience has been a productive touchstone. Building on the classic phenomenological tradition while advancing critiques of its assumptions, these accounts have drawn attention to the ways in which racism impacts the bodily experience, self-perceptions, lived temporalities, habits, and social worlds of marginalised groups. Critical phenomenologists of race – among whom we might name Frantz Fanon, Sara Ahmed, Alia Al-Saji, Linda Martín Alcoff, George Yancy, Mariana Ortega, and others – have variously examinedthe existential, everyday, and deeply embodied impacts of racist oppression, and how these can affect our experience of place and placemaking. 

As part of the 47th annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle (IMPC), we warmly invite submissions for a thematic stream exploring questions of racism, place, and embodiment. Interdisciplinary approaches that engage with these themes through phenomenology – critically or otherwise – are most welcome. We also encourage intersectional analyses that consider multiple systems of oppression (e.g., based on gender, class, disability, sexual orientation) and the differential impacts these may have.

Potential paper topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  • interpersonal and structural forms of oppression 
  • settler colonialism and dispossession 
  • home, placemaking, and belonging 
  • social justice, protest, and resistance 
  • migration, mobility, and diaspora 
  • language, gesture, and embodiment 

We especially encourage submissions from First Nations people, people of colour, and other underrepresented groups in Philosophy and the academy more generally.  

This stream will be curated by Helen Ngo for a research project funded by the Australian Research Council (DE220100329). Anumber of travel bursaries will be available for students and unsalaried/low-waged early career researchers (ECRs) presenting in-person in this stream. (An ECR is defined as being fewer than 5 years out of their PhD, excluding career interruptions.) Participants wishing to be considered for a bursary should indicate on their cover letter: (1) your usual place of residence, and (2) whether you are a student or a low-waged ECR. Please note that submissions which engage directly with Merleau-Ponty’s work are also eligible to be considered for the two student prizes outlined in the conference’s general call for papers.  

Full paper submissions of no more than 3,500 words should be prepared for anonymous review and sent to Helen Ngo ([email protected]) and Ryan Gustafsson ([email protected]) with the subject heading "IMPCRethinking Racism submission." The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2023.   

As this conference will be held as a hybrid event, please indicate whether, upon acceptance, you plan to attend in-person or virtually. In order to host the conference at a physical location, a certain percentage of talks will need to be presented in person, and this will be factored in during the review process. Please also include any anticipated accessibility needs, which will greatly assist in planning.  

Helen Ngo and Jack Reynolds/ IMPC 2023 conference co-convenors 

Ryan Gustafsson / Research Assistant  

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