BSP Podcast: Emily Hughes on grief and bodily experience

podcast update

This episode of the BSP Podcast sees Emily Hughes  presenting a paper from our 2022 annual conference, ‘Engaged Phenomenology II’.

Season 6 episode 151: 5 June 2024

Season 6 continues with another presentation from our 2022 annual conference, Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Spatiality. This episode features a presentation from Emily Hughes, University of York.

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Emily Hughes
‘”Heavier, and less mine”: grief and the modification of bodily experience’

This paper gives a phenomenological analysis of the impact of grief upon bodily experience. In the first half of the paper I will provide an analysis of responses to Question 7 of the ‘Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience’ questionnaire, ‘Has your body felt any different during grief?’ which was conducted with colleagues from the University of York. Using Braun and Clarke’s qualitative method of thematic analysis, I will organise the descriptions of bodily experience into patterns of themes, including feelings of heaviness, emptiness, constriction, numbness and depersonalisation. In the second half of the paper I will critically evaluate these themes in light of the broader literature on the lived body and lived space, as given in the work of Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Marcel, Minkowski, Bollnow and Schmitz. In so doing, I will explore the ways in which modifications to bodily experience in grief can be seen to impact spatial experience and, by implication, the way in which the mourner finds themselves in the world as a whole.

Biography: I am a postdoctoral research associate in philosophy at the University of York working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Grief: A Study of Human Emotional Experience.’ I completed my PhD at the University of New South Wales. My research is situated in the intersection between existential phenomenology and the philosophy of psychiatry and psychology, with a particular focus on phenomenological interpretations of affect and the way in which emotions modify temporal experience.

Further Information:

This recording is taken from our Annual UK Conference 2022: Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Sociality (Exeter, UK / Hybrid) with the University of Exeter. Sponsored by the Wellcome Centre, Egenis, and the Shame and Medicine project. For the conference our speakers either presented in person at Exeter or remotely to people online and in-room, and the podcast episodes are recorded from the live broadcast feeds.

The British Society for Phenomenology is a not-for-profit organisation set up with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of Phenomenology and other cognate arms of philosophical thought. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal, events, and podcast. Why not find out more, join the society, and subscribe to our journal the JBSP?