*CANCELLED* Embodied Voices: Phenomenological, Hermeneutical, and Psychoanalytic Approaches to Health

March 20, 2020 - March 21, 2020
Graduate Students in Philosophy (GSIP), Duquesne Women in Philosophy (D-WiP), Minorities and Philosophy (MAP), Duquesne University

600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh 15282
United States

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Keynote speakers:

George Washington University


Duquesne University

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On March 11 Duquesne announced its plans to switch its its plans to switch to online instruction beginning March 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and has cancelled all events with 50 people or more. In light of this news, we have decided that we have to cancel the conference. It was our hope that we could make it work even with the COVID-19 outbreak, but that no longer seems possible or prudent in light of the public health concerns. 

We invite abstracts for papers that look at how health and disease have been treated in phenomenology, hermeneutics, and psychoanalysis, and how these fields may help to improve upon the current methodologies employed in medicine. Medicine is taken here more broadly to mean the art of healing or of understanding various human conditions or ways of being alive (e.g., disorders, injuries, disabilities). Traditionally, Western medicine presupposes a strictly biological account of the body, largely ignoring other existential features of human life and thereby actually restricting its understanding of the body. Furthermore, it seems as though a certain flaw in Western medicine is its inability to admit a hermeneutical self-understanding of the patient into its diagnosis and treatment methods. Phenomenological approaches to the body are quite different in that they take the lived body and its diverse and complex experiences into account. Hermeneutical and psychoanalytic approaches are also different in that they introduce an interpretive element into their epistemological framework.

Medicine and the concept of health have historically been used to stigmatize and disenfranchise women, people of color, people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, LGBTQIA+ people, and other people considered to be “abnormal.”  The concepts of illness, health, and disease and the practice of medical diagnosis have historically been used as tools for expanding and perpetuating oppression of women and minorities. As such, we particularly encourage papers that consider how phenomenological, hermeneutical, and psychoanalytic approaches to the concept of health can serve as a means for enabling women and minorities to have their voices heard and contribute to the various social justice movements of the twentieth century and beyond.

Ultimately, then, how might the incorporation of embodied voices—whether this means giving an account of one’s illness, injury, or disability—widen, enrich, and improve our breadth of knowledge regarding human health and well-being in general, and how might giving those voices a platform also contribute to the philosophy of medicine in particular?

This conference is being jointly hosted by Duquesne Graduate Students in Philosophy (GSIP), Duquesne Women in Philosophy (D-WiP), and Duquesne Minorities and Philosophy (MAP).

Keynote Speaker:

Gail Weiss (George Washington University)

Subtopics/Areas of Research:

  • Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, and Psychoanalysis
  • Concepts of Health, Illness, and Disease
  • History and Philosophy of Medicine
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Critical Race Theory
  • Disability, Mental Illness, and Disability Studies
  • Sex, Gender, and Women’s Studies
  • Sexual Orientation, Sexuality, and Queer Theory
  • Gender Identity, Intersexuality, and Transgender Studies
  • Reproductive Care
  • Gerontology, Ageing, and Ageing Studies
  • Psychiatry, Psychopathology, and Mental Health Diagnosis
  • Public Health Education and Ethics
  • Dietetics and Food Studies
  • Death and Dying
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Biohacking, and Distinguishing Between Enhancement and Treatment
  • Environmental and Animal Ethics
  • Ecopsychology and Ecophenomenology Movements

Conference Date: March 20-21, 2020.*

* The conference will be held on Saturday, March 21. On Friday, March 20, we are planning to host panel discussions with invited speakers. Details about the topics and speakers of the panel discussions are TBA.

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