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Wonder in Qualitative Research and Practice-based and Existential Phenomenology

The main aim of the course is to support course participants’ PhD projects by working with wonder-based or wonderinspired approaches to qualitative research, practice-based dialogue and action research. We will focus on the phenomenology of wonder, and different practices of wonder.


15.11.2017 kl. 00.00 - 17.11.2017 kl. 00.00


Reflection on the ontic and ontological dimension of wonder will be discussed as well as the different phenomenological and hermeneutical attitude and virtues that seems to call upon a sense of wonder. Each participant will get the opportunity to examine in what way they are understanding wonder and to find ‘traces of living wonder’ in their own writings. The course is intended to provide participants with insights and attitudes that will cultivate their capacity or readiness in what Gadamer describes as moving into ‘the open’. And by doing that hopefully also the participants’ ability to ‘thinking-through-wonderment’on their empirical as well as theoretical studies.

The course is designed to help to answer complex questions such as the following:

  • How can we practice, analyse, and understand qualitative research as well as practice-, dialogical and action research when putting a special emphasis on wonder?
  • How can we become more aware – cognitive, affective and existential – on the different dimensions of wonderments?
  • What can we learn from the philosophers and phenomenologists of wonder? • How may a wonder-based approach in qualitative research or action research look like?
  • Is it possible to design wonder-based dialogues or interviews? Or is it more like an improvising art experience, that is, something that speaks to us and comes to us, when it wants to?
  • How can we understand the ontological dimension – or primordial world-relation – in the phenomenological-hermeneutic research?
  • Why is wonder connected to special form of sensing and ‘caring-for-the-world’?
  • What might be the enigmatic connection between love and wonder, as Heidegger indicate when saying: “Love, as basic motive for phenomenological understanding.”(Heidegger, 1982, 185)?
  • How can wonder help the researcher to get in a better dialogue with the life phenomena in the field?
  • How can we critically and reflexively work with issues and practices of wonder and notions such as hermeneutic and phenomenological experiences and truth?

The course will be organised along lectures, dialogues and interactivity through workshops.

Number of ECTS:

3 ETCS-point


hannepc@hum.aau.dk no later than November 1, 2017

Download course description with Preliminary program


HCCI-doctoral research programme, Department of Communication and Psychology


Aalborg University, Aalborg

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