Category Archives: Uncategorized

The theme for our 2022 panel is CRISIS. In his own time Husserl wrote of the crisis of the European sciences; our present historical moment finds us surrounded by a multitude of crises worthy of careful phenomenological analysis. In the teeth of a once-in-a-century pandemic that has decimated the global population, we are confronted with crises of social antagonism, political polarization, and looming environmental catastrophe, as well as crises of information, evidence, epistemology, and truth. BTTTT! 2022 invites those engaged in phenomenological practice to delve into these and other instances of crisis that have unsettled the intersubjective, disrupted the horizonal structure of experience, and undermined our shared sense of the world. We seek original descriptions of various dimensions of the life-world in crisis. What we want →

Saturday, May 1, 2021 11am-1pm EST

Back to The Things Themselves! Panel (Moderator: David Koukal, University of Detroit Mercy)

“Toward a Phenomenology of Phobia” Benjamin Graham (Metanoia Institute, University of Middlesex) and Matthew Graham (Independent Scholar)

“Deer Icon; or how a run became a dog, a deer, a stanchion, and a fetish” Adam van Sertima (Champlain College of Vermont)

Sunday, May 2, 2021 11am-1pm EST

Back to The Things Themselves! Workshop/Roundtable (Facilitator: David Koukal, University of Detroit Mercy)

All are welcome.

Zoom link for both panel and workshop.

As you know, BTTTT! is part of the Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture (EPTC), which traditionally meets annually and concurrently with the Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The 2021 meeting of the Congress was to take place at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Unfortunately, the Congress has opted to make its meeting entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the EPTC executive board has opted not to participate. However, EPTC is planning to host its own series of panels and workshops in 2021, and will be sending updates on those developments as they become available.

BTTTT! 2021 plans on participating in these EPTC events, and so will continue to accept submissions via Word file until January 7, 2021. Papers should take no longer than 30 minutes to read (generally less than 4000 words), should be prepared for anonymous review (identifiable by paper title only), and include a separate abstract not exceeding 100 words. The cover sheet should also list the paper’s title, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and email address. Please note that papers will be initially reviewed by the panel organizers, and suitable papers will then be sent for anonymous review. Submissions and inquiries should be sent to backtothethingsthemselves@gmail.com.

BTTTT! is solely interested in the phenomenological practice of carefully describing the appearances of things in their concrete, situational givenness, without drawing on metaphysical, scientific, or other explanatory preconceptions. We ascribe to no single “orthodox” phenomenological method. Indeed, we embrace diverse approaches to “the things themselves,” so long as these approaches are focused on encounters with experience untainted by conceptual impositions. The goal should be to live behind one’s own eyes, to heed the call of things, and to attempt to give things their own voice as purely as possible, so as to reveal their sense and significance within their larger matrices of lived meaning.

BTTTT! invites those engaged in this kind of phenomenological practice to generate original descriptions of the life-world.  What we want →

Taking Edmund Husserl’s dictum to heart yet finding in it a new direction, The Things Themselves is an attempt to return philosophy to the world and, in so doing, know ourselves and our place in that world anew. The book deals with the myriad ways in which a phenomenological approach to philosophy can inform commonplace experiences and understanding. From a trip to Disneyland to a morning spent watching television exercise shows, from the commitment to become a vegetarian to the choice to become a political revolutionary, this book breaks down the barrier between theory and praxis, demanding that we both investigate and hold ourselves accountable to this world. Written in an accessible yet philosophically rigorous style, H. Peter Steeves not only attempts to return philosophy to the world but also to return philosophy to the nonspecialist, to those simply interested in the simplest things, the things themselves that fill our lives but inevitably, and most wondrously, prove anything but simple.

In this profoundly important and original book, Lisa Guenther examines the death-in-life experience of solitary confinement in America from the early nineteenth century to today’s supermax prisons. Documenting how solitary confinement undermines prisoners’ sense of identity and their ability to understand the world, Guenther demonstrates the real effects of forcibly isolating a person for weeks, months, or years.

Life Takes Place argues that, even in our mobile, hypermodern world, human life is impossible without place. Seamon asks the question: why does life take place? He draws on examples of specific places and place experiences to understand place more broadly. Advocating for a holistic way of understanding that he calls “synergistic relationality,” Seamon defines places as spatial fields that gather, activate, sustain, identify, and interconnect things, human beings, experiences, meanings, and events.

Puncta is an open-access, peer-reviewed philosophical journal established with the specific intention of redirecting phenomenological intentionality. It is our belief that phenomenology is not a mere descriptive practice, but an enactment of critique, that is, an ongoing process of revealing and interrogating the concrete conditions, institutions, and assumptions that structure lived experience, phenomenological inquiry, and thinking. We invite submissions that engage the critical turn of phenomenology via analyses of socio-political phenomena, reflections on the limits and challenges of phenomenological inquiry, or by attending to the history of philosophy, either through its silences or its canonical figures.