Phenomenology and Bodies of Knowledge

This is an interdisciplinary research group united by a shared interest in phenomenology. From Edmund Husserl's phenomenological breakthrough onward, phenomenology has understood himself as an undogmatic philosophy "from below." Phenomenology start out from the phenomena as they originally show themelves prior to theoretical constructions of knowledge. By returning to what is given, phenomenological approaches can bring to light questions that have been neglected within many disciplines. Scholars are opening new lines of inquiry into fields such as health science, theology, literature, architecture, social sciences, archeology and aesthetics.

From the Harvard Art Museums' collection Jocular Sounds Foto: Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund and Purchase in memory of Eda K. Loeb Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


Our group is particularly interested in exploring the double meaning of "bodies of knowledge."
We explore the role of the body in discovering, organizing and creating knowledge, but also exploring it as a metaphor for the finite limits of knowledge.
Disciplinary bodies of knowledge often assume a body-as-object, knowable outside of lived embodied experience. This creates the illusion of certainty and projects certainty as an absolute value. Returning to the phenomenology can make available for theoretical reassessment those areas of human experience that do not admit of certainty.  


1) Revitalize phenomenology and its relevance for various academic disciplines;

2) Reopen for discussion the relationship between embodied life and academic bodies of knowledge;

3) Describe phenomena such as incarnation, love, disease, appetite and pain through multidisciplinary seminars, conferences and writing projects;

4) Question the value of certainty as the goal of knowledge, especially with regard to the experience and representation of the human body.

Upcoming Conference: Love: Contemporary Perspectives in Literature, Philosophy, and Theology

UiT-The Arctic University, Tromsø, Norway: September 5-7, 2019. We are happy to have keynote speakers in this conference that have done significant work on love in a contemporary perspective: Jean-Luc Marion, Werner Jeanrond, and Kevin Hart. Assuming that there is still more work to be done to understand love, this conference will focus on new research being done on love and disseminate this research across disciplinary boundaries. We welcome scholars from any discipline, particularly philosophy, literature and theology.

We invite abstracts of 300 words. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2019. Please send abstracts, along with name and affiliation to Cassandra Falke:




New book from the Research Group:

Falke, Cassandra; Dahl, Espen; Eriksen, Thor Eirik, Phenomenology of the Broken Body.  Routledge 2018.