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Special Issue: "Phenomenology and Critique"


Puncta's latest Special Issue, "Phenomenology and Critique," edited by Daphne Pons, Andrew Krema, Johanna Oksala, is now out! The special issue takes up the very timely question of the method of critical phenomenology. It features articles by Peter A. Antich, Jesús Luzardo, Jennifer Gaffney, Steffen Herrmann, and Leyla Sophie Gleissner, with an introduction by Daphne Pons, Andrew Krema, Johanna Oksala. You can find it here:

From the introduction:

"The topic of the conference and this special issue, “phenomenology and critique,” was intended to respond to a need for methodological clarification within phenomenology, particularly with respect to critical phenomenology. The “critical turn” that phenomenology is presently undergoing is an attempt for phenomenology to describe and analyze social and political phenomena, especially phenomena that pertain to oppressive structures of the social world such as sexism, white supremacy, and colonialism. ... Its proponents claim this sort of endeavor necessitates a step beyond the scope and methodology of classical phenomenology, especially Husserlian phenomenology. Although some figures of classical phenomenology might offer methods and insights into certain experiences relevant for the desired realm to be investigated, classical phenomenology cannot by its own methods achieve the desideratum critical phenomenologists are after. Consequently, some critical phenomenologists have opted to collaborate with other philosophical traditions such as critical theory, hermeneutics, decolonial theory, and post-structuralism, as well as other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology.


We felt that if critical phenomenology was going to withstand the test of time and prove to be a movement that led to philosophical breakthroughs and brought about changes in our understanding, it had to clarify its own phenomenological grounds. The questions that needed to be posed were: what exactly makes critical phenomenology phenomenological? What makes it critical? And how can we understand its relationship to classical phenomenology? It also seemed clear to us that classical phenomenology could no longer ignore experiences of oppression. If phenomenology were to remain a relevant philosophical method, able to contend with the distinctive phenomena of our time, experiences of oppression needed to be grappled with and faced head on. Phenomenology had to develop tools for addressing experiences of gender, sexual, white supremacist, and colonial domination. How, then, could a primarily descriptive enterprise such as phenomenology advocate political change? Put differently, how could we theorize the articulation of phenomenological scholarship with political praxis and activism? In sum, the central tenet in convening the conference and in compiling this special issue was the commitment to questioning the meaning of “critical phenomenology”: to not take it for granted, but to ask fundamental questions about its methodology, its task, and its place in the broader phenomenological tradition. In particular, we wanted to ask what new theoretical tools the critical turn in phenomenology might require."