Article Published: The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy

I am happy to announce that my article, “The Weight of Bodily Presence in Art and Liturgy,” has been published! It was published in the journal Religions in a special issue entitled “Phenomenology and Liturgical Practice.” You can see the official post here (where you can read it online or download it). Or you can also download it from my profile on academia.

If you have wondered about the advantages and disadvantages of doing virtual church during the pandemic, this is for you! Here is my abstract:

This essay addresses the question of virtual church, particularly on whether or not liturgy can be done virtually. We will approach our subject from a somewhat unusual perspective by looking to types of aesthetic experiences which we have been doing “virtually” for a long time. By exploring how we experience art in virtual and physical contexts, we gain insight into the corresponding experiences in liturgical practices. Drawing on Mikel Dufrenne, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gabriel Marcel, I first examine the importance of the body when we experience “presence” in aesthetic environments. Next, I consider the weight of the body in experiences of presence in liturgical practices, both in person and virtual, guided again by Gabriel Marcel as well as Bruce Ellis Benson, Emmanuel Falque, Christina Gschwandtner and Éric Palazzo. Through these reflections, I argue that what art teaches us about the significance of the physical closeness of the human applies to the practice of liturgy and that, while unexpected benefits will surface in virtual settings, nothing replaces the powerful experiences that arise when the body is physically present.

Book Contract!

I am excited to announce that I officially have a book contract with Routledge! The title of my book is: Madness in Experience and History: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Foucault’s Archaeology. It will be published in the Psychology and the Other Series.

All edits are due in April 2021 and it should be published by December 2021.

Here is the tentative back-of-the-book blurb:

“Madness in Experience and History: Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology and Foucault’s Archaeology brings together experience and history to show their impact on madness or mental illness. Drawing on the writings of two 20thcentury French philosophers, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Michel Foucault, the author pairs a phenomenological approach with an archaeological approach to present a new perspective on mental illness as an experience that arises out of common behavioral patterns and shared historical structures. Many today feel frustrated with the medical model because of its deficiencies in explaining mental illness. In response, this book argues that we must integrate human experiences of mental disorders with the history of mental disorders to give a fuller account of mental health and to extend holistic care. In addition to providing a more comprehensive look at mental health, it also offers a fresh take on discovering value in diverse human experiences.”

Publications and Works in Progress

With my semester of teaching completed, I have now begun work on several projects for the summer. To keep myself on task, I am taking an inventory of what I have published, what I am working on and what plans I have for the future.

Already Published and in Print

Article: “At the Opening of Madness: An Exploration of the Nonrational with Merleau- Ponty, Foucault and Kierkegaard.” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 33, no. 3 (2019): 475-488.

Article: “Situating Melancholy in Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety.” Philosophy & Theology Journal, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2014): 39-64.

Accepted for publication (as of today!)

Chapter in Edited Book: “The Need for Merleau-Ponty in Foucault’s Account of the Abnormal.” In Normality, Abnormality, and Pathology in Merleau-Ponty, edited by Talia Welsh and Susan Bredlau, SUNY Press. Abstract.

Currently Working On

Article: “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology.” I will be submitting this soon to the journal Foucault Studies. Abstract.

Book Proposal: Madness in Merleau-Ponty and Foucault: Integrating Human Experience in History. I am working on the proposal and editing the first chapter to submit to the Psychology and the Other Book Series at Routledge. The first chapter title is: The Case for Unity: The Need for Experience and History in Understanding Madness. Related to my Dissertation Abstract.

Article: No title yet. Something on phenomenology and liturgy in relation to the presence of humans in community. This will be submitted to the journal Religions.

Future Plans

Article: The Need for Foucault in Merleau-Ponty’s Account of the Abnormal.

Article: No title yet. Something on the relation between Foucault’s unreason (déraison) and Victor Hugo’s display of madness in Les Miserables.



Abstract for “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology”

I have been accepted to present the paper, “The Carnival of the Mad: Foucault’s Window into the Origin of Psychology,” at the Psychology and the Other Conference in Boston, MA in October 2019. I am looking forward to the conference. Here is the short abstract. If you would like the longer version or a copy of the paper, please contact me.

Foucault’s participation in the 1954 carnival of the mad marked the beginning of his critical reflections on the origins of psychology. Using the cultural expression of this carnival as a starting place, this paper goes beyond carnival costumes to uncover the historical structures underneath the discipline of modern psychology. I will argue that these structures reveal motives behind certain psychological experiences, such as resistance to a mental disorder diagnosis and unexplained guilt from disordered behavior.