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Bryan Smyth

Professor Smyth served as Visiting Assistant Professor from 2008 to 2012, prior to which he held a visiting appointment at Mount Allison University. He received his PhD from McGill University in 2006, and also holds a DEA (Diplôme d’études approfondies) from Université Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and an MA from the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Smyth's main research and teaching interests are in social and political philosophy, working primarily (but not exclusively) within the traditions of Phenomenology and Critical Theory. The basic aims of his current research are (i) to develop an original political-philosophical reading of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's conception of phenomenology as a form of critical or transcendental naturalism that can supply a methodologically coherent grounding for social critique that is at once immanent and transformative, (ii) to introduce this conception to the tradition of Critical Theory through an embodied-cognitive reconceptualization of the notion of reification, and (iii) to apply the resulting perspective to basic questions concerning oppression and social justice in the contemporary world.

Dr. Smyth has published articles in Chiasmi International, PhaenEx, Philosophy Today, Continental Philosophy Review, and International Journal of Philosophical Studies, and he has numerous other articles in progress. His first book, entitled Merleau-Ponty's Existential Phenomenology and the Realization of Philosophy, will be published in the autumn of 2013 by Continuum (Bloomsbury Studies in Continental Philosophy). He is currently translating Merleau-Ponty's Le monde sensible et le monde de l'expression: Cours de Collège de France, 1952-53 (Métispresses, 2011) for Northwestern University Press, and he is also working on two further book projects, provisionally entitled Hyperdialectical Materialism: Merleau-Ponty's Approach to the Political, and Rethinking Reification: Toward a Phenomenological Critique of Critical Theory.

Dr. Smyth was awarded the 2010 Junior Scholar Award from the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, and also serves on the executive committee of the Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture.

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

Review of Catherine Malabou, The New Wounded: From Neurosis to Brain Damage, trans. Steven Miller (Fordham, 2012). In Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews [link]

Review of Hans-Christoph Schmidt Am Busch and Christopher F. Zurn (eds.), The Philosophy of Recognition: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Lexington, 2010). In Marx and Philosophy Review of Books [link]

Review of Michael J. Thompson (ed.), Georg Lukács Reconsidered: Critical Essays in Politics, Philosophy and Aesthetics (Continuum, 2010); and Timothy Bewes and Timothy Hall (eds.), Georg Lukács: The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence. Aesthetics, Politics, Literature (Continuum, 2010), Symposium 16:2 (2012): 274-280. [link]

"The Meontic and the Militant: On
Merleau-Ponty's Relation to Fink," International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19:5 (2011): 669-699. [link]

"Generating Sense: Schizophrenia and Phenomenological Praxis," Schutzian Research 3 (2011): 121-132.

"Foucault and Binswanger: Beyond the Dream," Philosophy Today 55 (2011 SPEP Supplement): 92-101.

Review of Erika Abrams and Ivan Chvatík (eds.), Jan Patočka and the Heritage of Phenomenology: Centenary Papers (Springer 2010), Philosophy in Review 31:5 (2011): 310-313.

Review of Ted Toadvine, Merleau-Ponty's Philosophy of Nature (Northwestern UP, 2009), Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 15:2 (2011): 251-255.

Review of Kascha Sanvely and Neal Deroo (eds.), Merleau-Ponty at the Limits of Art, Religion and Perception (Continuum, 2010), Philosophy in Review 31:1 (2011): 70-73.

"Heroism and History in Merleau-Ponty's Existential Phenomenology," Continental Philosophy Review 43:2 (2010): 167-191.

"Merleau-Ponty and the 'Naturalization' of Phenomenology," Philosophy Today 54 (2010 SPEP Supplement): 153-162.

Review of Matthew Ratcliffe, Feelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychiatry and the Sense of Reality (Oxford UP, 2008), Philosophy in Review
30:2 (2010): 132-134.


Recent & Upcoming Presentations

Mißachtung Baby! — Is Honneth’s Recognitive Ideal of Justice Critical?," Society for Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture (May 2012)

"On the Methodological Role of Marxism in Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology," Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (October 2011).

"Time to Heal? Merleau-Ponty's Temporal Remedy and Cailloisian Myth," A past that has never been present: Art / Philosophy / History (June 2011).

Commentary on Idil Boran, "The Problem of Exogeneity in Debates on Global Justice," American Philosophical Association (Central) (April 2011).

"Transcendental Humour? — On the Rhetoric of Phenomenology," Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy (November 2010).

"Foucault and Binswanger: Beyond the Dream," Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (November 2010).

"Merleau-Ponty and Transcendental Philosophy," Canadian Philosophical Association (June 2010).

Contact Details
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
Office: 312 Clement Hall
Phone: 901-678-3354
Fax: 901-678-4365
Email: basmyth<at>memphis<dot>edu
UM drive

Office Hours (Fall 2013): by email

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