Welcome to the Society for Phenomenology and Media (SPM). On these pages you will find current information concerning conferences, events, publications, membership,
history and leadership.
SPM is concerned with media theory and media philosophy with a primary focus of media analysis. The Society encourages attention to a wide-range of individual media (visual and auditory representation in film, TV, the Internet, radio, all digital media, gaming, sequential art/comix, zines, books and other print media, cave art, dance, etc.). Members are keenly interested in historical and contemporary media, media theory, the philosophy of media, artificial intelligence, social/anti-social media, augmented "reality," and the philosophy of political economy as it applies to media. Of particular importance to SPM are questions of class, especially as found in racist, sexist, and ageist expressions, overt and concealed in national and international media.
As SPM enters its third decade, attention to media representation of environmental crises, neo-liberal globalization and neo-colonialism, and questions of free speech and hate speech have risen to the surface of contemporary philosophical and theoretical discourse. While remaining dedicated to phenomenological research, SPM now additionally focuses on the economic and political bases within various media contexts that underpin current concerns. SPM is committed to the exposure and analysis of racial, gender, sexual preference, and age prejudice, as well as re-emergent fascist, neo-Nazi , and reactionary laissez-faire ideologies and discourses that deny the findings of the natural
and historical sciences.
While the term "phenomenology" remains in its name, SPM decided that such identification was too intellectually narrow, and now welcomes many types of philosophy used
to consider media.
SPM neither deals directly with communication practices such as rhetoric or public speaking, nor psychoanalytic or cognitive-science assumptions and assertions.
The Society does encourage philosophical diversity. Members represent a wide variety of perspectives: analytic and linguistic analysis, artificial intelligence theory, direct realism, cognitive science, feminism, Marxism, cultural materialism, naturalism, neurological studies, pragmatism, post-colonial theory, semiotic, hermeneutic, postphenomenology and mediation theory as well as the full range of phenomenological opinion, as well as other contemporary approaches. Philosophers and media theorists regularly discuss, but are not limited to Althusser, Bachelard, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Davis, de Beauvoir, Debray, Deleuze, Eagleton, Engels, Foucault, Flusser, Gramsci, Habermas, Husserl, Ihde, Ingarden, James. Klein, Luxemburg, Lukacs, Marx, McLuhan, Merleau-Ponty, Peirce, Dunayevskaya, Searle, Tran Duc Thao, Turkle, and Verbeek. Questions of media theory and practice are constant in SPM activities and publications. Media covered in the past include but are not limited to apparatuses, artifacts and instruments of all analogue media, augmented reality, dance, digital media, Internet, manuscripts, print (books, magazines, newspapers), podcasting, radio, reading, stage drama, Film, TV, writing.
Glimpse, the annual SPM publication, is a blind, peer-reviewed journal. SPM Proceedings includes all papers presented at SPM annual conferences that are submitted for publication. Both may be found at the Philosophical Documentation Center.
SPM is a non-profit international society.
Conferences have been held in eight countries (Argentina, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Mexico, Poland, USA) and four USA states (California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah). Participants include members from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, twenty-five states in the USA and three provinces in Canada.
Acceptance to an SPM conference is by invitation by through a double blind peer-review process of the host committee.
SPM Conferences are as much about listening as speaking, questioning as answering. For that reason, we prefer applicants who will attend all three days of our conferences. We do not encourage "drop in" participants who give a paper and leave. It is well understood that academics use conferences for "publish or perish" reasons, promotions, tourism, and so on. SPM conferences are designed to allow plenty of time for social interaction and sightseeing, but because we are quite serious about what we do, we find that those who listen and question are of at least equal importance to those who deliver papers. We discourage those who come to pontificate. We enthusiastically invite those who want to have dialogue with other serious thinkers.
SPM sponsors special work projects. In the past, the OUTIS Project on Deception held five working conferences (Krakow, Buenos Aires, Helsinki, and twice in San Diego) that resulted in an anthology of selected essays. Currently, SPM is co-sponsoring with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México a series of seven annual conferences organized around the seven deadly sins, three of which have been completed to date (greed, lust, anger).
SPM cooperates with like-minded organizations. SPM is a founding member of the Organization of Phenomenological Organizations (OPO) and maintains a warm relationship with the Circulo latinoamericano de fenomenologia (CLAFEN) and the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology. SPM is particularly interested in bringing the work of Latin American thinkers to North American and European academics.