BSP Online Courses 2024 #2

Phenomenology as a Queer Method

Course Leader: Dr Nikolaas Cassidy-Deketelaere (KU Leuven)
Dates: 3 / 10 / 17 / 24 April 2024
Time: 5:30-7:00pm (BST)
Location: Online (Zoom)

Registration now closed for this course.

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Course Summary:

Phenomenology and queer theory, as a form of critical theory, are generally considered to be entirely distinct styles of thinking, if not straightforwardly opposed in their presuppositions and aims. However, this course will explore how—much to the contrary—phenomenology should instead be considered as an inherently queer method.

After all, characterised by the so-called ‘reduction of the natural attitude’, it exists precisely in what we could call the ‘bracketing of (hetero)normativity’. To that end, we will first consider how the project of a ‘queer phenomenology’ can be conceived in a properly methodological sense, distinguishing it from a limited phenomenology of sexuality or gender. Second, we will critically discuss contemporary phenomenological forms of heteronormativity, particularly in France, in order to illustrate how heteronormativity is not simply a political but a distinctly methodological—and thus phenomenological—problem. Third, we turn to Husserl in order to conceive of the reduction as an inherently queer category. Finally, we will apply the phenomenological insights thus acquired to the specific experience of AIDS in order to show how the queer perspective can serve the phenomenological method in general, specifically by providing the opportunity for integrating both love and embodiment into Heidegger’s existential ontology.

Course Outline:

Week 1: Introduction: The Project of a Queer Phenomenology (Reading: Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology, 1-24)

Week 2: Heteronormativity and Experience: The Problem of ‘Nature’ in Contemporary Phenomenologies of Love (Reading: Marion, The Erotic Phenomenon, Introduction and §31; Falque, The Wedding Feast of the Lamb, §21).

Week 3: A Queer Reduction: The Deconstruction of Experience in Husserl (Reading: Rodemeyer, ‘Husserl and Queer Theory’)

Week 4: A Phenomenology of AIDS: The Construction of Love and Embodiment in Heidegger (Reading: extracts from Monette, Borrowed Time).

Course Information:

  • PDFs of the reading will be made available the week prior to each session.
  • For those who cannot attend a week, there will be a video recording available for 7 days.
  • Links to Zoom will be sent out a couple of days before the course starts.

Course requirements:

  • No course requirements
  • There are a limited number of places for the course – see ‘Registration’

Course leader:

Dr Nikolaas Cassidy-Deketelaere studied theology in Oxford as well as philosophy in Paris, and is currently a FWO Postdoctoral Research Fellow at KU Leuven.

His research considers questions of method in phenomenology and continental philosophy, modern theology, and the philosophy of medicine.

He is the (co-)editor of The Pulse of Sense: Encounters with Jean-Luc Nancy (Routledge, 2020), The Emmanuel Falque Reader (Bloomsbury, 2024), and author of The Philosophy of Emmanuel Falque (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

BSP Online Courses Overview:

The British Society for Phenomenology was founded with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of phenomenology and related philosophical ideas. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal (JBSP), essay prize, impact agenda, podcast, and events.

Online Courses are part of the BSP Events offerings. All courses will focus on phenomenological thinkers or topics and will be taught by experts in the field. Each short course has a total of six hours. The sessions will last 1.5 hours and are held once a week on Zoom, for four consecutive weeks. This will include a lecture and time for discussion / Q&A. Reading materials or any other course materials will be provided in advance.

The BSP is a not-for-profit organisation and fees charged are to help the society cover the costs of its events, podcast, journal, etc.

Course Fees:

  • To attend BSP Events, including our Online Courses, you need to be a member of the BSP.
  • For BSP members our online courses cost £25, or a concessionary rate of £15 if eligible. Concessionary rates apply if you are a scholar who is emeritus, independent, student, unwaged, or has financial hardship (including low income, temporary contracts, etc.).
  • Non-members can join the BSP and become members to attend a course. The membership fees are £40 per year for a standard membership or £20 for concessionary membership. Once again, concessionary rates apply if you are a scholar who is emeritus, independent, student, unwaged, or has financial hardship (including low income, temporary contracts, etc.). In becoming a member you can attend any of our courses, conferences, or other events during your membership year without having to pay membership fees again. In addition, you will also receive a year’s subscription to the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology accessed through the portal at Taylor & Francis Online. There are four issues a year, plus you have access to our archive with 50+ years of articles. Details on membership, and how to join, can be found here. You can either join in advance of signing up for the course, or as part of registering for the course.


Registration now closed for this course.

  • Registration closes midnight March 31st or before if maximum number of attendees is achieved
  • The number of attendees is restricted to 35 for this course

More Information:

If you require more information about the course, please contact Zoe Waters, BSP Chair of Online Courses via [email protected].