Calendar | Conference

People on Streets. Critical Phenomenologies of Embodied Resistance

Paderborn, 12 - 14 May 2022


Organised by



In the last decade, massive street protests have again come to the fore as a go-to mode of expressing political criticism. Not only in countries perceived as championing democratic civil society but also in regions historically influenced by different forms of political oppression, where reluctance to take political action or indifference towards politics in general is a societal norm, people are now raising their voices and taking to the streets to protest against both long overdue forms of injustice and current perils to civil and human rights posed by right populist governments around the globe.

In this conference, we are looking at what actually happens when people take to the streets. Reflecting upon the phenomenon of street protests, we pursue a better understanding of impulses leading to protests, their intersubjective dynamics, the structure and meaning of spaces where they are being enacted and the diverse practices of this enactment. In its attentiveness to embodied experience and commitment to critique, the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of critical phenomenology, broadly construed, offers a unique way to analyse the subjective and intersubjective dynamics of street protests, the role of embodied togetherness and the meaning of (re)claiming the public space.

CFP is closed

Topics we would like to address include but are not limited to: 

  • First person lived experience of street protests. 
  • Spaces of protest: streets as ‘affective’ spaces of embodied protest; embodiment, digitalization, and the transformation of the public sphere. 
  • Discourses of protest: speech, counter-speech, no-speech; (in)commensurability with hegemonic discourses and epistemic/discursive injustice. 
  • Street protests and violence/non-violence: un/civil disobedience and vandalism; state, police and repressive violence; dissident violence and self-defence.  
  • Who is/are the protestor/s: protestor’s subjectivity from first person singular/plural perspective.
  • Intersubjectivity and belonging; the protesting collectivity as condition or result of protests.
  • Critical perspectives on embodied differences between left- and right-wing /populist protests. 
  • The embodied nature of public protests under Covid-preventive measures that strictly police all embodied togetherness. 

This interdisciplinary conference invites papers contributing to the field of reflection of street protests in the spirit of, but not confined to, critical phenomenology. It is planned as an in-person event, provided that the state of the pandemic allows for in-person gatherings. 


Submission guidelines

We invite paper proposals including a title, an abstract of 300 – 350 words, name and affiliation of the author, as well as contact information. We welcome a diversity of voices in global terms. The presentation time is 30 minutes with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. The conference language is English. Please submit your proposal by July 15, 2021 to

Confirmed keynote speaker

Michael Marder, University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES)

Confirmed speakers 

Luna Dolezal, University of Exeter (UK)

Rasmus Dyring, Aarhus University (DK)

Zeynep Gambetti, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul (TR)

Agnieszka Graff-Osser, University of Warsaw (PL)

Marina Gržinić, Vienna Academy of Art / Slovenian Academy of Science and Art (SL)

Olivia Guaraldo, University of Verona (IT)

Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen, Tampere University / University of Jyväskylä (FI)

Qrescent Mali Mason, Haverford College (US)

Danielle Petherbridge, University College Dublin (IR)

Simon Runkel, University of Jena (DE)

Kirsten Simonsen, Roskilde University (DK)

Ruth Rebecca Tietjen, University of Copenhagen (DK)

Wanelisa Xaba, University of the Western Cape (ZA)


Organization Team: 

Marieke Borren, Open University Netherlands 

Sara Cohen Shabot, University of Haifa 

Katja Čičigoj, Paderborn University 

Maria Robaszkiewicz, Paderborn University