Merleau-Ponty Circle

an organization interested in the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty.


  • The International Merleau-Ponty Circle is an organization of students, professors, and scholars interested in the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It was founded in 1976 and convenes once a year, usually in late summer or early fall, at various colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. During this annual three day conference, philosophers, psychologists, historians, social scientists, health care specialists, political theorists, artists and like-minded professionals present papers on different aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy as well as its interrelations with recent Continental philosophy and theory.  Conference directors have often arranged for publication of conference papers. There are approximately 750 members in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.
  • The Fortieth Annual Conference of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle will be held at Worcester Polytechic Institute, Worcester, MA. The conference dates are October 1 – 3, 2015 and the theme of the conference is “The 21st Century Body: Thinking Merleau-Ponty In and Out of Time.” The conference is directed by Prof. Jennifer McWeeny. The keynote speakers will include Etienne Bimbenet, University of Lyon 3, France and Sean Kelly, Harvard University. The annual conference features the M. C. Dillon prize and lecture for the best graduate student paper submission.  For additional information regarding paper submissions, the call for art submissions, travel, and registrations, the conference website is:
  • Membership in the Circle is unrestricted; the only requirement is interest in Merleau-Ponty’s work.  There are no membership dues, although there are registration fees for the annual conference. To be added to the membership listserv, send membership requests to the Circle’s General Secretary, Galen A. Johnson, Professor of Philosophy (University of Rhode Island). Members on the listserv receive e-mailings of all conference announcements and programs, calls for papers, and the annual newsletter.

For further information: 

Contact either the General Secretary, Galen A. Johnson, or the Associate General Secretary, Leonard Lawlor, Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University at

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