Webinar 14 Sept 22, 2pm (UK): Michael van Manen

We are thrilled to announce a webinar featuring Michael van Manen (University of Alberta profile page). Endowed Chair in Health Ethics, Michael is the Director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics.

Michael van Manen

In just over three weeks time, on 14th September, Michael has very kindly agreed to rise early to help us understand phenomenology of practice from his perspective as a neonatologist (see webinar abstract below). We have scheduled 60 minutes for the presentation, leaving 30 more for questions and discussion.

Image: DrParthShah, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Among other notable contributions, Michael recently collaborated with his father, Max, to publish Classic Writings for a Phenomenology of Practice. This is an important work to support and demonstrate the heritage of the Phenomenology of Practice approach, also documented in the 2021 paper Doing Phenomenological Research and Writing.

A link to Michael’s recent discussion of Medical Ethics is offered below.

Webinar Abstract: Phenomenology of Practice: Ethics, Phenomenology, Value
What does it mean to do phenomenology directly on the phenomena that we live?

What distinguishes phenomenology as a method compared to other human science traditions?

How may phenomenology offer relevance and value to professional practitioners such as teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, or other caring professions?

Phenomenology does not have to be an impenetrable philosophy but instead may be realized as a method to sensitively explore and explicate everyday human experiences.

Such understandings offer insights into the everyday ethics implicit in the practices of practitioners.

In this talk, I will discuss the tradition of phenomenology of practice, and the intersections of ethics, phenomenology, value, and technology at the hand of several health research projects. I hope to show the value of phenomenology for practice and also the value of practice for phenomenology.

We do hope you will join us on the day. Please email info@hanfod.nl for the Zoom joining link or download this ics calendar file. We hope to record the session so you can catch up if you are unable to attend online.

NLC2022 ‘Found Chord’ symposium papers link

I remember well enjoying the 2020 conference from Cardiff and have fond memories of really important happenings, including hanfod.NL that arose from it. However, to be back in-person at Sundsvall was profoundly wonderful. I have some photos on flickr and Felicity composed brilliant montages, one of which is featured here but see the others and her brief write-up on her EmergentThinkers blog.

We are incredibly grateful to our fabulous partners especially because our combined work strengthened the conference and lay down a marker for phenomenology at it.

Montage from our ‘Found Chord’ symposium at NLC2022 (cc FH-B)

The papers have been made available on the conference website – this link to it might work for a while [I’ve also added the Zoom Breakout Room paper to my Cardiff Uni profile]. One of our next plans is to take the papers and create an edited collection with them. However, there may be room for a couple more contributions. If you have a good suggestion about that, please get in touch (via the contact form or email if you wish).

hanfod.NL @nlconf #nlc2022

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Wonderfully, some of us are able to travel to an international conference to celebrate and enjoy this event, after an in-person hiatus of four years for regular NLC delegates. I am writing this as the coach takes me from Wales across England to Heathrow. Very sadly I am mindful that Professor Cathy Adams is unable to attend for unavoidable personal reasons. Her in-person presence will be sorely missed and we wish her well (hugs will be all the tighter next time, DV). This throws down the baton for Felicity and myself to make a success of the workshop on Tuesday afternoon, based heavily upon Cathy’s content and approach. For this 90-minute workshop, we are running in-person only (but offering another online only workshop 12 & 14 September 14.00-17.30 (UK time). The organisers sensibly opted for a hybrid of online and in-person attendance. Whatever the merits and compromises of trying to cater for both, the prospect of having to swing to online only again was very real and we would just have to make it work again. Life has become even more uncertain over the last months, and these very days, our conference host nation is deciding whether it will join NATO, something Russia may not take without disruptive retaliation… something every one of us travelling to Sweden has a heightened awareness of. Why travel when you could ‘videoconference’ is an obvious question that some will ask. Below are two slides from our zoom breakout room presentation to help explain. When I played spot-the-difference with these images with students yesterday, although there were smirks at those in the picture who were slumbering (a classic trope used by those who denounce lectures), their other responses chimed with Prof Lesley Gourley’s superb keynote at NLC2020, and the eventedness of this kind of gathering that was so much richer than what is sometimes mocked as an embarrassing attempt at anachronistic, domesticating knowledge transfer into passive recipient digital natives with hybrid learning styles and minimal attention spans.

In-person education (large class to group-working)
Online education (large class to group-working)

Image credits: https://flic.kr/p/8ZwrkD Polly makes pancakes, https://flic.kr/p/2ktWAsQ cat daydream/distraction https://flic.kr/p/nbPPKB large class, https://flic.kr/p/6PLZxi solitude laptop, https://flic.kr/p/6nwKUR groupwork

Introducing daisychain recordings with our first, by Greta

Daisy image CC by Kelbv on Flickr
A single daisy for our first recording in the daisy chain series – image CC Kelbv

To herald the Networked Learning Conference in May, we aim to release short audio reflections, linking with our symposium, and possibly each other’s recordings. Practically, we have in mind those who are curious about exploring networked learning and phenomenology, with the hope of inspiring more people to join in. However, part of the reason is that we just can’t keep quiet for long! – it must be admitted that there is an element of self-indulgent enthusiasm behind this mini-project 🌞

We love metaphors: daisy-chains are delicate, free, and carry a universal, humble beauty. They are often made in a shared between-time, and bestowed as a happy love gift in-person. We hope for you it is the thought that counts. When, as in the COVID-19 pandemic, mitsein (being-with, after Heidegger) may be in short supply, it behoves us, as we can, to humanise interactions and mitigate alienation. We hope hearing our voices will help you to connect more richly with us and the ideas we present. The voice alone is not video, but, as McLuhanesque hot media, may be all the more intriguing for that.

We are beyond delighted that Dr Greta Goetz, University of Belgrade, agreed to start us off. As one might expect, given her 2021 PDSE article, the recording is a singular work of scholarship in its own right, weaving many redolent ideas from her deep engagement with phenomenology. Mike (2008, p330) has styled information technology as ‘a chain of weak links’, which is also a feature of daisy chains, so we invite you to take advantage of the recording while it, the transcript and references, are still available. Honouring Greta’s authorship, the 11 minute recording is to be found on Greta’s site using this link.


Goetz, G. (2021). The Odyssey of Pedagogies of Technoscientific Literacies. Postdigital Science and Education, 3(2), 520–545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00188-3

Johnson, M. R. (2008). Investigating & encouraging student nurses’ ICT engagement. In T. T. Kidd & I. Chen (Eds.), Social Information Technology: Connecting Society and Cultural Issues (pp. 313–335). Information Science Reference.

McLuhan, M. (2001). Understanding media: The extensions of man. Routledge.

Symposium Progress

Mike, Cathy, Felicity, Jean, Kyungmee and Nina met using Jitsi (soon afterwards joined by Greta!)
Mike, Cathy, Felicity, Jean, Kyungmee and Nina

It was a high delight even to meet virtually last Monday, 1st November, to align our objectives and aspirations for a phenomenology and networked learning symposium at the next conference 16-18 May 2022. Felicity and Mike are gently pinching ourselves – we feel like we have a ‘dream team’ of enthusiastic participants who can genuinely carry the hanfod.NL vision of bringing phenomenology into the spotlight within networked learning.

  • Greta Goertz (2021 PDSE article) – Re-presencing the digital trace in networked learning design
  • Nina Bonderup Dohn – to discuss Merleu-Ponty’s importance for networked learning research (YouTube video abstract)
  • Kyungmee Lee (Twitter profile) – exploring what phenomenological ideas can bring to writing ‘thick description’
  • Jean du Toit and Gregory Swer – reflect on student reports of alienation and self-awareness while studying in a pandemic. (Meet the authors in this YT video and a recent unrelated article in Teorie vědy)
  • Felicity, Mike, Cathy Adams and Joni Turville (Twitter profile) bring a phenomenology of practice lens to the student’s experience of Zoom breakout rooms.

Some of the discussion was about having five solid full papers when a symposium is usually four papers, but we have ambitions around filling a double-symposium and developing something substantial to make good use of the time.

We established a few dates: Mike to draft a symposium proposal outline by 26th Nov. 10th Dec to send around full drafts of papers to each other for feedback and responses, and comment on the symposium draft. 3rd Jan 2021 for final full papers, ready for submission as soon as possibly prior to the 7th January target for Networked Learning Conference scientific review.

In sympathy with Greta’s idea of retaining control of the traces we leave within the Internet, we chose to use Jitsi for this meeting and it performed admirably although browser-based (sometimes app-based video-conference tools are more stable). Unfortunately Greta was delayed and so unable to join the group photo-call.

Planning for the symposium in NLC2022

We feel like our 10/11 June workshop was so long ago…. although it is a happy memory. Another small example of overcoming in the face of the pandemic… However, if you had a summer like us, writing was not easy to fit in. A busy life can really desiccate attempts to enter into a phenomenological attitude…

We hope you have managed to relax a little over the ‘holiday’ period – you may be still trying to do so.  However, we can’t rest on our laurels for long – we have started to properly look forward to next year’s in-person conference – a very exciting and hopeful prospect, given global events.

If you have time, take a look at this site which takes an informal look at the host city: http://www.sundsvalltown.se/ Mike really tried to find a land route to Kolding in 2020, and is wondering whether not flying is going to be a realistic option this time without having to immitate Phileas Fogg!

Nacksta Sankt Olof, Sundsvall, by Hans Lindqvist, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of hanfod.NL’s aims is to organise a phenomenology and networked learning symposium – the deadline for symposium proposals and full papers is the same –  October 8th. We need a clear idea about the viability of a symposium well in advance and so we’re inviting you to join us. Please email info@hanfod.nl with your abstract by 2nd September in order for us to meet online for feedback and review on the 3rd at 2pm (GMT) – you are welcome to join us. We will email the zoom link you if you send us your abstract.  

We look forward to hearing from you (soon 🙂