Graduate Program Director
Dr. Gilbert Garza, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Dallas
Levinas teaches us that we are each radically separate, and that the Other stands above us and teaches us from an unfathomable dimension of height. As proof of our separation, Levinas normalizes our “living from” the world and the “coiling” of our inherent movement towards ourselves in enjoyment. It is because I can be immersed in the movement of this “coiling” in enjoyment and sensibility that I am also capable of being interrupted in this movement by the Face of the Other, who cannot be consumed or incorporated by me. In these moments, we are surprised with the surplus and the excess of the Other, who resists my totalization and my meanings and “founds truth.”
In the modern world, we are surrounded by meanings and symbols that lay significant claims to our time and attention, leaving us aching for connection, hungry for sacred interruption. Technology and modes of communication paradoxically collapse global distances while exposing us to feelings of estrangement from one another. Our distracted concerns with the past and the future often alienate us from the present. In this year’s seminar, we invite you to consider the modern dilemmas and contexts of our separation from each other in the “coiling” of enjoyment. How can our practices of research, psychotherapy, and day-to-day living lead to increased opportunities for sacred interruption by the Face of the Other? How can we continue to cultivate the ongoing search for mystery in the radical alterity of the Face?
This year, we are pleased to welcome as our keynote speaker Dr. Gilbert Garza, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Dallas. His interest in psychological research rooted in the phenomenological philosophy of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty was decisive in his pursuit of an M.A. (1989) and ultimately a Ph.D. (1996) in phenomenological psychology at Duquesne University. Professor Garza has authored several articles on phenomenological research methods in psychology, as well as on technology and its impact on human experience. His recent research has centered on the role of the Internet (specifically, of social networking sites like Facebook) in social experience. He has also written about and taught the ethical philosophy of Levinas and its practical and theoretical implications for phenomenological psychological research.
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