Us and Them: Phenomenological Perspectives in Dialogue

In classical phenomenology, we find reflections on collective intentionality, community, Mitsein, fellow-feeling, interaction, and empathy, which have in turn motivated recent dialogue between phenomenology and the social and cognitive sciences. What has often remained in the background, however, is the question of how to conceive of the relationship between 'Us' and 'Them'.

This draws attention to issues of exclusion, marginalisation, national identity, social identities, (non-)belonging, and conflict. In this conference, we thus want to explore the various ways in which 'Us' and 'Them' are related, interdependent, and stand in opposition to one another.

We aim to not only reflect on and better understand the Us/Them dichotomy, but also to put pressure on its assumed dichotomous nature. More importantly, we aim to bring classical, critical and applied phenomenological approaches into dialogue with political philosophy, critical theory, and social scientific research which engages in social identity theory, social psychology, national identity, and discourse analysis.

Confirmed keynote speakers:



From 08:45 Coffee, tea and croissants
09:15 Opening remarks
09:30 (Keynote) Andrea Pitts - Susto, Collective Trauma, and Disability Justice in the Writings of Gloria Anzaldúa
10:45 Break
11:00 Lucia Angelino - Questioning the boundary between Us and Them with Jacques Derrida and Bernard Waldenfels

Georg Harfensteller - The Proven and the Unmanageable in Action. Intersubjective Familiarity and Strangeness with Alfred Schütz and Bernhard Waldenfels

12:15 Lunch in the canteen (at own expense)
13:15 Christine Hamel & Ann J. Cahill - A Critical Phenomenology of Voice: Intervocality and Possibilities for Vocal Justice

Daniel Vespermann - Collective affective gaslighting – Hijacking affective dispositions in group-level and institutional contexts

14:30 Break – coffee, tea and cake
14:45 Kelee Lee - Going beyond the boundaries of one's own world: A Husserlian account of listening

Boris Pantev - I-Thou and Us-Them: Various Axes of Analogy in Husserl

16:00 Break
16:15 (Keynote) Daniel Gyollai - Whatever happened to Hungarian freedom fighters? Dissociative collective identity and the phenomenology of forgetting



From 09:00 Coffee, tea and croissants
09:30 (Keynote) Alba Montes Sánchez - Towards a Phenomenology of Belonging in Migration Processes
10:30 Break
10:45 Minna-Kerttu M. Kekki - Our truth versus theirs: Collective memory as a context-dependent collective experience

Vikas Kumar Choudhary - The Idea of ‘Us’ And ‘Them’ in Politics of Memory: Phenomenology of Oppressed Memory

12:00 Lunch in the canteen (at own expense)
13:00 Maria Robaszkiewicz - Speaking to Each Other as Disruption. Speech and Speechlessness under the Condition of Lack of a Common Language

Laurine Blonk - Community in a world of biographical strangers

14:15 Break – coffee, tea and cake
14:30 Emma Brännlund & Emiliano Trizio - Bound to be “them” at home. “Us and them” under military occupation: a phenomenological account of the case of Kashmir

Andréa Delestrade - Universal Bodies? Universalism and the Making of (Racial) Boundaries in Husserl’s Liebesgemeinschaft

15:45 Break
16:00 (Keynote) Christina Friedlaender - Knowing Worlds, Building Futures: On (Un)shared Imaginations, Genocide, and Silicon Valley



* Registered online participants will receive a link to view a stream of the event. Unfortunately, we will not be able to take questions from the online audience.