Writing with an()Other: Hospitality and Solidarity in Practise
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In our Nordic Summer University study circle we have investigated the notions of hospitality and solidarity from a multidisciplinary approach, framed by feminist philosophy and theology. In the sixth and last symposium of this study circle we would like to focus on the linguistic aspects of hospitality and
solidarity – in practise. How can we as thinkers, practitioners, researchers, dancers, how can we as beings work together in hospitality and solidarity when we are always also within language?
How can we deal with the linguistic aspects of hospitality? Jacques Derrida and Anne Dufourmantelle (On Hospitality) wrote about the transgression of “asking for a name” of the refugee, of the other that comes to us. We can find in Hannah Arendt the notion of the power of speech, speech as an act. How does the violence of language work, what does it do to the other that we are hospitable to? How can we not ask for someone’s name? Can giving a voice to someone be a form of hospitality, or is there always a violence inherent in the invitation that either betrays the other or brings about the destruction of our own self?
Narrative and politics are closely related issues. When Levinas tells us the other calls us, what does it mean to respond? Is there a masculinity within language, and do we need to open other registers, as Bracha Ettinger urges us to do? Language, and words, are always limited. They compress abstract, broad, intricate thought into finite words. This placing of limits and cutting-off enables us to transfer meaning from one person to another, but it inherently implies losing some of the additional layers and extents of their original meaning . In Hebrew, the word for “word” is the very word for “circumcision”. On one hand this entails a loss, but on the other hand it is profoundly this choice and action of relinquishing some aspects, of losing something, that enables the sharing and growth of meaning and communication. The
realisation of a thought into words congeals the abstract and causes loss of layers and extents of meanings. This process is also one of dividing between oneself and the other. For, words ebb the flow of internal thought into a bounded entity that may be transferred externally from one to an other. Language does not give us access to the interior of an other’s mind, nor the ability to connect from within oneself to within the other. We are forced to step back, to separate our mind and being from those of the other with whom we seek to connect, and only thus are capable of striding over the boundary between I and other – of communicating. In this symposium we want particularly take part in practices of writing together.
We invite scholars, practitioners and artists who work around this theme that is fundamental to feminist philosophy and theology as it deals with the desire to invite the other without violating the difference and without presupposing understanding. Are words always delineating space, or can they also be used as an unconditional invitation? Exploring poetry, matrixial borderspaces, politics and positive language philosophy, this last session will be a melting pot of interdisciplinary research and praxis with the focus of writing together.
WHEN? July 28th – August 4th 2022
WHERE? Rønningen folkehøgskole near Oslo in Norway.
Investigating examples and practises
We invite presentations, workshops, lived examples, reading-together, experimental collaborations and other explorations of practises to build a shared vocabulary and archive of what it means to work with
an( )Other in writing. The focus is on workshops where we get to write together. Proposals for possible workshops, with a theoretical explanation only if necessary, are highly encouraged.
What is NSU’s summer session?
The week-long Summer Session is the yearly culmination of NSU’s activities where all circles hold their symposia at a shared location. Study circles work during the day and in the evening, numerous social and cultural events take place. You can choose to take part in one circle only or visit several different circles during the week. However, you need to apply to one specific circle when you sign up. Excursions are also made to local cultural attractions at the site of the summer session, and guests are invited to gain new perspectives on the hosting country.
A key value of NSU is that families with children can participate at the summer sessions. NSU therefore provide what we call a “children’s circle” for participants who are between three and thirteen years old.
A typical day in the summer session looks like this:
8:15-9:00 Morning Exercise
9:00-10.30 Study circle activities
10.45-12.15 Study circle activities
13.45-15.15 Study circle activities
15.30-17.00 Keynote/NSU workshops, assemblies,
meetings and discussion
Our study circle traditionally hosts a reading of a feminist play one evening.
Participation fee (including lodging, foods, and program):
150 EURO to 700 EURO depending on your economic status.
Scholarship receivers 150 EUR (Accommodated in twin or triple rooms.)
650-700 EUR (Accommodated in single rooms)
500-550 EUR (Accommodated in a twin room)
1500–1800 EUR (Accommodation for a family of four travelling with children.)
1750-2000 EUR (for a family of five).
Whether arriving in Oslo by train, plane, bus, boat or car, Rønningen Folkehøgskole is accessible by public transportation from the city centre. The venue is located near the Oslo woodlands, and there are several nature sites for walking in the forest, along the Aker river, and swimming in nearby lakes as well as the Oslo fjord. All rooms at Rønningen Folkehøgskole are of very good quality and most have a beautiful view as the venue is located on the hill. The rooms include bed linen and towels. Food will include vegetarian and allergy options.
Dates to keep in mind
1 June – Deadline to apply to the NSU summer session 2022/Deadline to apply for a scholarship
7 June – Scholarship applicants are notified of the outcome of their funding application
June 7–1 July – Registration and payment in the webshop
July 28 – Arrival at Rønningen folkehøgskole and start of the summer session (volunteers arrive one day earlier)
August 4 – Departure