British Society for Phenomenology Annual Conference 2020: ‘Engaged Phenomenology’

September 3, 2020 - September 5, 2020
Department of Philosophy, University of Exeter

United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

View the Call For Papers


  • Egenis
  • Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health

Keynote speakers:

University of Exeter
Manchester Metropolitan University
Technische Hochschule Darmstadt
University of Copenhagen



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‘Engaged Phenomenology’ seeks to complement the approaches of applied and critical phenomenology by investigating embodied lived experience through a plurality of voices, encouraging dialogue between phenomenology, as a philosophical approach, and other disciplines, in addition to practitioners and individuals outside the academy. The aim is to engage phenomenological approaches across a variety of contexts (e.g., healthcare, medicine, education, design, art, psychology, architecture, community spaces, etc.) with the hope of opening up the phenomenological approach to individuals and communities outside of traditional philosophical spaces for the encouragement of dialogue, interaction and deeper understanding of the complexities of embodied lived experience across a diversity of contexts, while also being alert to the socio-political realities and power relations which frame experience.

‘Engaged phenomenology’, as an approach:

·         heeds the situatedness of lived experiences across diverse cultural and environmental lifeworlds

·         invites us to hold this notion of plural lifeworlds together with wider phenomenological questions about lived possibility, power relations, and the condition of having and being in a lifeworld which feels open to us and to which we are open

·         challenges assumptions around narrativity and privileged articulacy in phenomenological methods, embracing new ways of listening and attending to people’s lived experiences in their specificity and relationality

·         is mindful of how experience is lived through constellations of relations with others, rather than only seeking individualised (depoliticised) first-hand accounts

·         considers the transformative potential of research participants sharing their experiences in meaningful ways, rather than merely assessing their ‘utility’ in academic terms.

The British Society for Phenomenology Annual Conference is a longstanding and respected feature of the UK academic scene, providing a friendly and supportive forum for inter-disciplinary discussion. This year we are partnering with Egenis at the University of Exeter (UK); and the event will be co-sponsored by the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.


We welcome papers across a broad range of areas. These include, but are not limited to:

·         Health and Social Care (medicine, medical humanities, physiotherapy, maternity, disability)

·         Mental Health and Psychological Theories (psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, childhood development, trauma studies)

·         Public Policy and Society (education, policing, law, economics, politics and international relations, science and technology [STEM])

·         History and Theory of Phenomenology (perception, the body, sexuality, emotion, ethics and morality, key thinkers in the history of phenomenology, feminism, gender, race, existentialism, philosophy of religion, phenomenological theology, philosophy of technology)

·         Art (fine art, photography, video games, poetry, literature, film, architecture, music)

We are looking for contributions from these categories and others, across multiple perspectives, from practitioners and philosophers (including both the European / Continental and Anglo-American / Analytic traditions). Also, submissions from postgraduate researchers, who will be considered in a separate student panel.

Full Call for Papers

See the full Call for Papers for abstract submission, selection process, key dates, and conference costs.

More information and questions:

You can find more information about the conference on the BSP 2020 Annual Conference website.

If you have any questions about the conference, please email:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) info:

Amid global concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), the British Society of Phenomenology (BSP) and the University of Exeter (with sponsors Egenis and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health) are closely monitoring the situation with respect to the planned UK annual conference in September 2020. Read more...

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