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The International Merleau-Ponty Circle is an organization of students, professors, and scholars interested in the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It was founded in 1976 and convenes once a year, usually in late summer or early fall, at various colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. During this annual three day conference, philosophers, psychologists, historians, social scientists, health care specialists, political theorists, artists and like-minded professionals present papers on different aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy as well as its interrelations with recent Continental philosophy and theory.  Conference directors have often arranged for publication of conference papers. There are approximately 750 members in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.

Membership in the Circle is open and you can also join our Facebook group. Donations to the M. C. Dillon Memorial Fund can be made here. See our page about the Circle for further information, or contact our General Secretary, Prof. David Morris, david.morris@concordia.ca, Concordia University, Montreal, or our Associate General Secretary, Prof. Kym Maclaren, kym.maclaren@ryerson.ca, Toronto Metropolitan University. Any questions or concerns about this website should be directed to IMPC webmaster Rawb Leon-Carlyle, rawb@psu.edu.

IMPC 48: ART, POLITICS, AND IMAGINATION

48TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MERLEAU-PONTY CIRCLE

Oct 24th – Oct 26th 2024 | Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA, United States | In-person with virtual streaming

Visual culture, music, art, and fiction shape the popular imagination in profound ways, outpacing changes in policy and law. – Angela Davis et al., Abolition. Feminism. Now!

Phenomenology is as painstaking as the works of Balzac, Proust, Valéry, or Cézanne—through the same kind of attention and wonder, the same demand for awareness, the same will to grasp the sense of the world or of history in its nascent state. – Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

Although Merleau-Ponty does not make explicit the political power of art thus conceived, as the embodying of a different philosophy that engages in infinite interrogation, art has the potential to denaturalize what otherwise may appear and be felt as necessary ontological structures. It is this power of imaginative variation, i.e., of imagining how things could be otherwise, that Husserl attributed to art, and that Black feminist thinkers like Angela Davis today appeal to for abolitionists projects. This year’s meeting of the IMPC brings together these rich and varied strands of inquiry to think with and beyond Merleau-Ponty’s own contributions on artistic expression, politics, and being, seeking to make explicit the political dimensions of art. Can we find resources in Merleau-Ponty’s thought about the power of art as we collectively work to imagine different futures beyond the neoliberal, carceral state?

This year’s meeting of IMPC will take place in Philadelphia, United States, on the unceded ancestral land of the Lenape people, who lived in this area for thousands of years prior to European colonization. The conference is being co-directed by Martina Ferrari (Villanova University) and Whitney Howell (La Salle University). Jorella Andrews and Mariana Ortega will give keynote addresses. Helen Fielding, Rajiv Kaushik, and Qresent Mali Mason will be plenary speakers. The conference will be held at the Inn at Villanova. On-site accommodation is available.

Full paper submissions, in English or French, of no more than 3,500 words should be prepared for anonymous review and sent to IMPC2024submissions@gmail.com with the subject heading “IMPC submission” by May 31, 2024. As is custom, submissions on any aspect of Merleau-Ponty’s work, in addition to the conference theme, are also welcome. The conference features the M. C. Dillon prize and lecture for the best graduate student paper submission. This year’s conference will feature a second prize, the Ron Morstyn Memorial Prize, awarded annually to a graduate student, junior scholar, or independent scholar, for the best interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary paper engaging Merleau-Ponty’s work presented at the Circle.

This conference will be held primarily as an in-person event. A live stream of the event will be made accessible to the general public. If you wish to be considered for virtual participation because attending physically presents insurmountable accessibility issues (of whatever sort, including economic ones), please indicate so in your submission. We will do our best to accommodate such requests. You are also welcome to include any anticipated accessibility needs, which will greatly assist in planning.

PhP Around the World

The International Merleau-Ponty Circle and Chiasmi International are mounting a project to solicit and curate a series of video broadcasts about this book, from around the world. The Phenomenology of Perception Around the World: A 75th Anniversary Broadcast Series is meant to echo Merleau-Ponty’s own 1948 radio broadcasts about philosophy, dedicated to the topic of the world as revealed by phenomenology, and transcribed in Causeries 1948 and translated in The World of Perception. The series videos are available on Vimeo here.

Moral Horizons of Pain, the tenth philosophy video in the series on Phenomenology of Perception Around the World, is ready to launch! The launch features the video’s world premiere, followed by a discussion with the makers of the film, Santanu Dutta, Ariel Ducey, Martina Kelly, Pratim Sengupta (Canada). The discussion will be hosted by David Morris (Canada). This will be followed by a question and answer session with attendees. The launch is via a Zoom meeting, on 23 September, 13:00h-14:30h EST (Montreal). It is free but requires registration

Moral Horizons of Pain offers a critical phenomenological re-orientation of medical diagnosis and caring for pain. Drawing upon Merleau-Ponty’s notions of first and second order perceptions and Ahmed’s notion of orientations, the team of interdisciplinary scholars in sociology, learning sciences and medicine reveal hidden moral undertones underpinning technoscientific practices in medicine.

Circle Announcements

Engrenage or the Art of Translation

The International Merleau-Ponty Circle invites you to view Engrenage or the Art of Translation, a series of watercolours created by IMPC scholar Donald A. Landes (translator of the 2012 English edition of The Phenomenology of Perception and author of Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression and The Merleau-Ponty Dictionary). This series of watercolours was presented in conjunction with Landes’s keynote address at the 45th annual meeting of the IMPC.

As Landes notes, “The expression carves out that negative space, and the vestige of the expressive act invites an ‘engrenage’ or ‘gearing into,’ a reperformance—that is, a translation. In this series of watercolors, I explore engrenage. The material vestige of the expression (the book, the painting) is represented by the first graphite line, but the fluidity of the metastable virtual transgresses, effaces, or multiplies these edges. Each new reading or translation, expressed materially by the second line, attempts to s’engrener with the original, but not in the sense of material gears. Never fitting perfectly, leaving gaps, activating different parts of the virtual beyond the original boundaries, and reshaping the work in each of its iterations. Engrenage, then, is the art of translation—the art of communicating across difference in the face of the ever-evolving nature of the trajectories of sense we live.”

Those interested in Landes’s other watercolour meditations should also view Curfew, Curfew 2.39, and Edges (for Ed Casey).

Bibliography and New Releases

See our compiled bibliography of primary source works or our current bibliography of secondary source works for information about Merleau-Ponty work’s and scholarship on Merleau-Ponty. See below for new publications relevant to Merleau-Ponty and his work.

Conférences en Europe et premiers cours à Lyon: Inédits I (1946-1947)
Eds. Michel Dalissier & Shôichi Matsuba | 2022 | ISBN 9788869762345 | Mimésis

Conférences en Amerique, notes de cours et autres textes: Inédits II (1947-1949)
Eds. Michel Dalissier & Shôichi Matsuba | 2022 | ISBN 9788869762345 | Mimésis

La perception qui guérit
Desmond Kennedy | Tr. Olivier Winghart | 2020 | ISBN 9782913706910 | L’Exprimerie

Merleau-Ponty and Contemporary Philosophy
Eds. Emmanuel Alloa, Frank Chouraqui, & Rajiv Kaushik | 2020 | ISBN 9781438476919 | SUNY Press

Merleau-Ponty at the Gallery
Véronique M. Fóti | 2020 | ISBN 9781438478036 | SUNY Press

The Sensible World and the World of Expression: Course Notes from the Collège de France, 1953
Trans. Bryan Smyth | 2020 | ISBN 9780810141421 | Northwestern University Press

Merleau-Ponty between Philosophy and Symbolism
Rajiv Kaushik | 2019 | ISBN 9781438476759 | SUNY Press

Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Language
Dimitris Apostolopoulos | 2019 | ISBN 9781786611994 | Rowman & Littlefield

L’œil et l’histoire: Merleau-Ponty et l’historicité de la perception
Anna Caterina Dalmasso | 2019 | ISBN 9788869761966 | Éditions Mimesis

Chemins avec et autour de Merleau-Ponty
Jean-Yves Mercury | 2019 | ISBN 9782343188317 | Éditions Harmattan

50 Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology
Eds. Gail Weiss, Ann V. Murphy, & Gayle Salamon | 2019 | ISBN 9780810141148 | Northwestern University Press

Bylaws and Directors

Membership in the Circle is unrestricted. Visitors are encouraged to review our bylaws or a list of the Board of Directors of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle.

 

Archive

Programs from previous IMPC conferences are accessible through our Archive.

The Forty-seventh Annual Conference of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle was held in-person and virtually from December 4-6, 2023, hosted by Deakin University in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. The theme of the conference was “Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment: Between the Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Socio-Political” and was directed by Profs. Helen Ngo and Jack Reynolds. The M. C. Dillon prize and lecture for the best graduate student paper submission was awarded to Benjamin Décarie-Daigneault (Penn State University) for his paper “The crooked finger of Chauvet-Pont d’Arc: a Merleau-Pontian account of parietal art”.