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.
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 (https://www.merleauponty.org/m-c-dillon-memorial/). 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