Colloquium: The Critique of Empathy

I am very excited to inform you about a colloquium I am organizing on the subject of empathy at the Ruhr University Bochum. The colloquium will take place on the 30th of June, between 9am-6pm. The event will be in hybrid format: a good opportunity to join us from all corners of the globe.

Empathy has become an extremely popular notion in the second decade of the 21st century. It has been place at the center of the debate on human psychology, culture, ethics, economics, and political solidarity. Every time a concept gains traction and becomes common place, it is important to reflect and reassess it’s weaknesses and strengths. Accordingly, several contemporary scholars within the field of psychology, sociology and cultural theory have recently come to critique the immaculate appreciation of the notion of empathy. The Empathy & Society Colloquium will focus on such critiques of empathy, tackling its hyper-polysemy and re-evaluating its potential applications within the fields of social and cultural psychology, ethics, politics, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Presentations in the colloquium will explore the ‘dark side’ of empathy, offering a more nuanced perspective on the contemporary focus on empathy.

Among the speakers you will find:

Roland Bolz, speaking about the language and metaphors of empathy.
Clint Burnham, discussing empathic contagion and the plague.
Lizzy Sheppard and Brett Heasmann, rethinking empathy in autism.
Phil Langer, sharing his experience with empathy in empirical and clinical supervision.
Razak Khan, aiming to decolonize empathy.

The event is FREE, all you need to do is register with the following email: KKC@RUB.DE

Hope to see you there,

Leon Brenner

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