Upcoming Events

The Labour of the Negative

4th Biannual Conference of the Australian Hegel Society

November 30-December 1, 2023


Call For Abstracts

The Fourth Biannual Conference of The Australian Hegel Society, ‘The Labour of the Negative’, hosted by UNSW Sydney, will take place on November 30th - December 1st, 2023, in person in Sydney Australia and online via zoom.

Keynote Speakers: George di Giovanni (McGill) & Alenka Zupančič (Ljubljana, Paris VIII)

Call for abstracts:

Abstracts should be sent as attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. See instructions at the bottom of this message.

Deadline: September 1, 2023.

Conference theme:

At crucial junctures in his writings, Hegel makes use of the theme of labour to articulate the thrust, movement, and nature of his philosophical project. Famously the Phenomenology of Spirit is a highway of despair that “immediate spirit must laboriously travel down” if it wants to become ‘genuine knowing’. And labour is no less essential to Hegel’s conception of truth for which this labourious path prepares us: the grasping of truth as not only substance but also as subject. As Hegel writes, a proper grasp of this idea [Idee], must involve “the seriousness, the suffering, the patience, and the labour of the negative”. Labour and its logic are at the heart of Hegel’s Phenomenology. It is thus not surprising that the young Marx would later claim that “the outstanding achievement of Hegel’s Phenomenology and of its final outcome, the dialectic of negativity as the moving and generating principle, is that he thus grasps the essence of work”. Marx’s intuition would guide Alexandre Kojève to foreground the thematic of work in his influential lectures on the Phenomenology which would determine so much 20th century French reception of Hegel.

Yet one need not confine oneself to the Phenomenology if one wants to think through the connection between Hegel and labour. Hegel had been extensively engaging with the nature of labour in both his System of Ethical Life (1802) and in his notes preparing to lecture on his Philosophy of Spirit (summer semester 1803; winter semester 1803–1804, and winter semester 1805-1806), i.e., before he penned those famous lines in the Phenomenology. This engagement was further preceded by a youthful encounter with the philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish political economy which dealt extensively with such questions. The relationship between Hegel and labour is far from reducible to the use of labour as a metaphor for a philosopher in his comfy nightcap.

But what of negativity and its specific work? Hegel was, after all, the thinker of negativity par excellence and his work has been essential to philosopher and non-philosophers alike. In the century following his death, the work of the negative in Hegel and Hegel’s works on negativity became essential to the projects of existentialists, psychoanalysts, and theologians alike. One could not imagine Jacque Lacan’s Seminar, for instance, without his engagement with Hegel’s Phenomenology and the thoughts on the work of the negative contained therein. It is not without consequence that Lacan attended Kojeve’s lectures or that Jean Hyppolite was invited to present a commentary on Freud's Die Verneinung (Negation) in Lacan’s seminar.

This year’s conference of the Australian Hegel Society (AHS) invites scholars working on Hegel and the post-Hegelian tradition to rise to the challenge of thinking through the significance of the “labour of the negative”. What work does the concept of labour do in Hegel’s philosophy? How might Hegel’s detailed engagement with political economy shed light on Hegel’s endeavours? Why did Hegel’s earliest biographers so emphatically insist upon the slow and methodical labour which undergirded the slow construction of his mature philosophy? To what extent does Hegel’s philosophy shed light on the contemporary nature of work? How has Hegel’s work been taken up to inform discussions of negation and negativity? Is there fertile ground still to be covered on the question of Hegel’s relation to psychoanalysis? What role has the ‘labour of the negative’ played in shaping the reading of Hegel among continental philosophers?


Papers are welcome that address the conference theme. The Australian Hegel Society welcomes submissions also from early career researchers and advanced graduate students. To notify your interest in presenting at the conference, please send an abstract of your paper to the following address, by September 1This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your abstract should include the following items:

1. ‘Submission Australian Hegel Society Conference 2023’ in the subject line

2. The paper title

3. Author’s name 

4. Institutional affiliation
5. Email address

6. Description of the paper (no more than 300 words)

Sessions at the conference are likely to be around 30 minutes per paper including question time.


Hybrid (Zoom and University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane)




The Australasian Logic Colloquium (ALC) 2023 aims to bring together logicians, either based in Australasia or with the desire to connect with logicians based in Australasia, working in mathematical, computational, or philosophical logic. The Colloquium is intended to provide a platform for presentation and exchange of ideas. Thus, we invite contributions in all areas of logic, especially if you would like to advertise your best results to logicians outside your own subfield. We welcome published or unpublished work.

If you would like to present a paper at this conference, either online or in person please send a 1-2 page abstract that explains what the talk is about to the organizers: Guillermo Badia and Sasha Rubin. The soft deadline for submission is 1 August 2023.

After the ALC, there will be an open call for papers for a special issue of the Journal of Logic and Computation. Submission of papers is encouraged but not a necessary condition for presenting at the conference.

This meeting is sponsored by the Association for Symbolic Logic. Student ASL members may apply for (limited) ASL travel funds (see here). The requirement is strict that they must be members of the ASL in order to apply, and applications must be received three months prior to the start of the meeting. Shannon Miller, the ASL administrator, is a good source of information and answers.


Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment: Between the Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Socio-Political

47th Annual Meeting of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle

In-person and virtual (hybrid)

4-6 December 2023
Deakin University, Melbourne (Narrm), Australia 

“Le corps est notre moyen général d’avoir un monde. / The body is our general means of having a world.”


Merleau-Ponty's seminal work on embodiment has been of enduring interest and influence in a wide range of fields. It has, for example, played a significant role in research on embodied cognition and enactivism, subjectivity and intersubjectivity, affectivity, movement, art, place, and more. Although sometimes criticised for providing an account of embodiment that is too general, Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical foregrounding of embodiment has also facilitated critical phenomenological studies attending to the specificities of how particular bodies inhabit social and political environments, through considerations of race, gender, disability, ageing, and illness. This year’s meeting of the IMPC seeks to bring together these rich and varied strands of enquiry, in order to think with, against, and beyond Merleau-Ponty’s own contributions on the lived body. 


Only its third time outside North America, this year’s meeting will take place in Melbourne (Narrm), Australia, on the traditional and unceded lands of the Kulin Nation. The conference is being directed by Helen Ngo and Jack Reynolds, with support from Andrew Inkpin and others. Keynote and plenary speakers will be announced shortly. The conference will be held at the centrally located and accessible Deakin Downtown campus, and recommended accommodation options will be provided nearer the date. 

Full paper submissions of no more than 3,500 words should be prepared for anonymous review and sent to both the directors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject heading "IMPC submission" by May 15, 2023. As is custom, submissions on any aspect of Merleau-Ponty’s work, in addition to the conference theme, are also welcome.

This year’s event will include a thematic stream on Race, place, and bodies curated by Helen Ngo for a research project funded by the Australian Research Council (DE220100329). A small number of bursaries will be available for students and unwaged early career researchers presenting in-person in this stream. Participants wishing to be considered for this are asked to indicate so on the cover letter of your submission. 

The conference features the M. C. Dillon prize and lecture for the best graduate student paper submission ( To be considered for this prize, please indicate so on the cover letter of your submission. This year’s conference will also inaugurate a second graduate student prize, the Morstyn prize, which recognises our late colleague, from Sydney, Australia, Ron Morstyn, who contributed to and attended the IMPC over many years, with special interests in psychology and psychiatry. Details for consideration for this prize will be announced between now and the submission deadline.  

Finally, 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 anonymous review process. If you plan to attend virtually because doing so physically presents insurmountable accessibility issues (of whatever sort, including economic ones), you are welcome (but not required) to include that information. You are also welcome to include any anticipated accessibility needs, which will greatly assist in planning.

Helen Ngo and Jack Reynolds, on behalf of International Merleau-Ponty Circle


The 61st Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy


Hosted by Toronto Metropolitan University
(formerly Ryerson University)

at the Hilton Toronto
Toronto, Canada