|Cy Twombly, The First Part of the Return from Parnassus1961)|
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed the relatively recent addition of a blog-roll, in the form of a themed list of 'blogs we read.' That list is for active blogs, in my opinion, but I've found an inactive blog that I wanted to highlight because I think it speaks to some issues meaningful to the motivations of this endeavor for communication across disciplines and specializations: some of our themes of open access, vernacular writing on the web, and increasingly, phenomenology.
The blog, Between Husserl and Heidegger, is clearly an outcome of a graduate-level course in phenomenology at an American university, most likely one taught from a philosophy department or a department arrayed around the disciplinary study of philosophy. The posts are all summaries of the readings written by students in the class. I've written these kinds of excursus myself in graduate school, and have asked them of my own students. Writing a careful, detail-oriented account of someone else's argument is a great exercise in close and attentive reading, and hones sensitivity to the craft of constructing concepts.
So, the blog is a fragment of a course that has been left lying around on the web. It's useful in a number of ways for precisely this reason. For a specialist, it's a nice summary of names and books that reflects an interesting and informed syllabus. For non-specialists, it's an insight into how teaching and learning works in the humanities. For anyone interested in phenomenology, it's a great open-access bibliography — a source for the vocabularies, ideas, and contemporary histories of a topic I'm well aware isn't the most accessible out there.
The URL for the blog is erlebnis - the German word for 'lived experience' which acts as a central, motivating concept in all strands of twentieth-century phenomenology — as the blog's author himself notes. In keeping with his excellent taste, I've taken the image for this post from one of my favorite Cy Twombly paintings in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.