“Life-World, Politics and Power"

II. Conference of The International Alfred Schutz Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science

Conference Program

Buenos Aires, April 23-25, 2014

Keynote Speaker: Lester Embree, Hisashi Nasu, Roberto Walton

Phenomenology’s contributions to the reflection on politics and power are often misunderstood. Critical diagnoses regarding its descriptive, explanatory and prescriptive capacity are frequently made. Indeed, it is common to say that phenomenology is not concerned with these issues and cannot account for them. These short-range critiques lose sight of the fact that the phenomenological perspective paid considerable attention to the political. The legacy of Husserl himself has been portrayed by its most brilliant interpreters as an emancipatory project. In turn, post Husserlian phenomenology has made huge contributions to the political debate, both in critical dialogue with the Marxist perspective and with political liberalism.

In this context, the work of Alfred Schutz is of particular relevance. Especially his last years were increasingly devoted to political issues such as citizenship, participation, equality, justice and social change. Schutz’s growing interest in the political shed new light on his long-lasting concern for phenomena such as imposed relevances and social hierarchies, and his treatment of the political is grounded on his phenomenological description of the life-world. It is in the framework of his concerns for the life-world that issues such as power and politics become central. Nowadays, they acquire a renewed importance at a time when politics has been superimposed, in many respects, by a thoughtless pragmatism. In this context, the Schutzian perspective could substantially contribute to a renewal of political thought emphasizing the subjective viewpoint of the individual actor – a renewal which is pending since the times of Husserl and remains our task at the beginning of the third millennium.

It is in this spirit that The International Alfred Schutz Circle for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science calls for papers for its second conference which focuses on "Life-World, Politics and Power." Papers dealing with these issues either empirically or theoretically will be acceptable. Different kinds of academic perspectives from the social sciences, philosophy, history, art theory, etc., are in the same way welcome as well as contributions related to professional practices concerning politics and power. Inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives are also encouraged. Besides the general focus on “Life-World, Politics and Power”, there will also be sessions that are principally open to other topics within the Schutzian paradigm as well as few Spanish speaking sessions. Paper proposals are not necessarily bound to the main topic of the conference. Propositions have to be written in English. Please submit an abstract of less than 500 words and your contact information. To be considered all presentation proposals must include names, paper titles, and full contact information including emails. For more information, see our website www.schutzcircle.org.

Local Organizer:      Carlos Belvedere, Daniela López (Universidad de Buenos Aires)

Organizers: Jochen Dreher (Chair), Hisashi Nasu, Michael D. Barber, Hermílio Santos, Andreas Göttlich