Call for papers for the twentieth annual conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP)



Call for papers for the twentieth annual conference of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology (NoSP) 

Between Past and Future: Existence, Embodiment, and Historicity   

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway  

June 17–19, 2024 

 Confirmed keynote speakers: Charlotta Weigelt (Södertörn University), Jan Slaby (Freie Universität Berlin), Thomas Schwarz Wentzer (Aarhus University), Lisa Guenther (Queen’s University Canada)  


Humans are historical beings. We live through, and interpret ourselves in the light of, our differing traditions, even when we are not aware of this fact. We may experience such traditions as traditions of power, domination, and suppression, but also as sources of inspiration and potential liberation from the present. At the same time all of us “have” our own history: we are born, we grow older, and eventually we die, and who we were at one time, as individuals and as parts of a community, affect what we are and are capable of becoming. Our past is, it may therefore be argued, ambiguous, and our future may depend on the way we appropriate and question our past.   

We also tend to deny the historicity of our existence, a tendency that may come to expression in a variety of ways. We may attempt to break radically with the past, to “move on,” and to regard past traditions merely as objects of theoretical inquiry with at most an antiquarian relevance for contemporary society and life. And we may try to hide from the biological fact that human beings age and change, be that through pursuing “eternal youth” or by tacitly denying the right of older generations to take part in discussions of contemporary problems on a par with younger generations. In short, we tend to concentrate on the present while disregarding our past and its significance for the future.  

We hereby invite abstracts for papers in phenomenology and related areas of philosophy, such as critical theory, feminist philosophy, queer theory, and the post-Kantian tradition widely conceived. This year we especially encourage work that addresses the way historicity affects our existence, as embodied individuals and as communities. Questions to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: What can past traditions teach us when it comes to addressing contemporary problems such as the ecological crisis or the apparent decline in democratic sentiments? Are categories from past traditions a help or a hindrance for coming to grips with such problems? How is fruitful dialogue between differing traditions and cultures possible and how does cultural appropriation differ from genuine dialogue? How do traditions in science influence our conceptions of rationality? Can traditions within art, religion, and other cultural spheres help us reach a more comprehensive understanding of human rationality? How should we understand the connection between past traditions and radical new beginnings or truth-disclosing experiences, for instance in art?   

The questions open for contributions within classical phenomenology, as well as various fields of ethics, philosophy of culture, cognitive science, gender studies, and feminist philosophy. We welcome proposals for individual papers from senior researchers as well as from graduate students. Proposals for joint panels on current topics or recently published books will also be considered.  

All proposals will be evaluated by the society board through a blind-review process. The proposals should be prepared for blind review and prepared in the following manner:  

A. Proposals for individual papers should consist of two separate documents containing the following: 1) The title and the abstract (maximum 300 words) of your presentation. The abstract should include: topic/field, original contribution, general outline. 2) A separate cover letter including the following information: title of presentation; name, affiliation and contact information.  

B. Proposals for joint panels (one individual sends the proposal on behalf of all the participants) should consist of two separate documents containing the following: 1) The title and a short description of the topic of the panel; and an abstract from each of the participants (maximum 300 words each); 2) a separate cover letter including the following information: the title of the panel; names and affiliations of all the participants; contact information of the individual in charge of the panel.  

To submit a proposal, send the documents as email attachments to the following address: Please ensure that the subject line of the email reads: NoSP 2024 Proposal. Deadline for submission: February 1, 2024. Decisions will be communicated by March 15, 2024. 

Note that you must be a member of the society in order to have your proposal considered. If you are not already a member, please send an email with brief information about your affiliation to Charlotta Weigelt ( Membership is free of charge. 

Organizing committee: Kristian Larsen and Ståle Finke