Call: International Workshop: Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotions

Call for Abstracts

International Workshop: Husserl’s Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotions
University of Cologne, Germany
July 18-19, 2019

Submission deadline: May 6, 2019

This workshop is a small conference organized by the Husserl-Archive in Cologne and the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne. Its goal is to bring together graduate students as well as experienced researchers interested in the relation of phantasy and emotions in the Husserlian work. Two keynote speakers from the Husserl Archive Cologne and four keynote speakers from abroad will lead the discussion.


Jagna Brudzinska (Cologne)
Saulius Geniusas (Hong Kong)
Dieter Lohmar (Cologne)
Ricardo Mendoza-Canales (Lisbon)
Regina-Nino Mion (Tallinn)
Claudio Rozzoni (Lisbon)
Michela Summa (Würzburg)

Graduate students and Postdocs are welcome to apply for a talk slot in the workshop. Please submit per email an abstract (maximum 400 words) for a 20 minutes talk addressing the topic of the workshop (see below). Abstracts should be formatted for double-blind review. Please write in the email the title of the presentation, name, affiliation, and contact information. The attached document should only include the abstract and its title. The deadline for submission of abstracts is May 6, 2019. Submissions should be sent to and Selection results will be delivered by May 17.

The conference will be held in German and English. There is no registration fee.


Since the publication in 1980 of Husserliana 23, Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung, the topic of phantasy has experienced a renewal of interest among phenomenologists and researchers from different backgrounds. Not only philosophers but also transdisciplinary investigators have paid attention to Husserlian insights related to the phenomenological method, the nature of pictoriality and aesthetic experiences, the classification of presentifications, and the differences between sensations and phantasms, among others. In the contemporary era marked by mass media products in constant reinvention, a Husserlian framework for disciplines trying to clarify experiences such as watching movies, listening to and reading literary fiction, or playing video games, continues to be promising and attractive. However, almost 40 years after its publication, we can say that specialized works on the subject have neglected one of the problems mentioned by Husserl. This problem concerns an important feature difficult to avoid in our everyday phantasy experiences, namely, the relation between the fictional object and the emotions of the subject actually experiencing it. For instance, reading about the fate of Anna Karenina we have sympathy for her, despite knowing she is a fictional character. Or watching a horror movie, we are afraid of the dreadful events depicted on the screen. Also, looking at a painted landscape of Caspar David Friedrich, we might feel anguish and despair. What is the nature of such emotional responses to phantasied objects? Are emotions indifferent to the actual existence of that which they relate to? How do these fictional emotions relate to their real counterparts? This international workshop aims to address this set of problems, thus promising to fill a gap in the Husserlian scholarship on the phenomenology of phantasy.


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