Circle 3: Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action

Circle 3 Hospitality & Solidarity invites you

NSU Winter Symposium 2022

Writing with
an( )Other

Hospitality and
Solidarity in Practise

[PDF version]


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 fifth and sixth 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.

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, these two symposia will be a melting pot of interdisciplinary research and praxis.

WHEN? Winter Symposium 24-27 March 2022

WHERE? Umeå University Umeå, Sweden

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. Only a small part of the time together will be reserved for paper presentations. The focus is on reading/learning/living together as a praxis of feminist hospitality and solidarity. Proposals for possible workshops, with a theoretical explanation only if necessary, are highly encouraged. Instead of keynotes, we will have more time dedicated to in-depth experiential workshops.

COSTS? Participation fee (including NSU membership 2022):

60 euro or 80 euro depending on your economic status
Single room EXTRA is +40 euro (if available).

Practical information

Please send your idea/proposal/workshop to by January 15th, 2022. We also welcome those who would like to come as participants.

We are able to provide funding to (partially) cover (economy class, sustainable) travel and lodging and accommodation for Nordic and Baltic participants. Please indicate if you’re want to use this option, and indicate what your travel costs would be. For those who are not in the Nordic or Baltic region, we might be able to cover costs, please contact us for more information.

Writing with an( )Other PART 2
in the Summer 2022 in Oslo, Norway
Summer Session 2022 (July-August 2022 at Rønningen folkhögskola)

Practising Writing with an( )Other

Working on the basis of the shared vocabulary and archive of the winter symposium, we invite people to join in week-long experiment of writing with an( )Other. What this entails will become more clear throughout this year.

*It is not required to have been at the winter symposium in order to join the summer program, however there will be required reading and possibly (online) preparatory meetings to prepare yourself and each( )Other.

hospitality.solidarity [at]

About this study circle:

This circle is born out of the success and the strengths of the previous study circle Feminist Philosophy; Time, history and the Transformation of Thought (2017-2019) and is taking up a new interdisciplinary topic that is present in contemporary philosophy, politics, and theology as well as feminist theory: the topic of hospitality and solidarity. Exploring the different themes of our symposia, feminism will allow us to create unexpected connections, experimental interventions and rethink these themes anew.

Read more about the overall aims and goals of the study circle.

About the network

Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action is a three-year study circle for critical interdisciplinary inquiries based in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The symposium at Åbo Akademi University is the first of a total of six conferences from 2020 to 2022. The network builds on the project Feminist philosophy: Time, history and the transformation of thought (2017-2019), which attracted more than 200 participants from five continents. The network aims to transcend the hierarchies of academia and the limits of thought. For more information about the network, visit our website and FB-group Feminist Philosophy (NSU).

Previous symposia organised by our study circle:


Laura Hellsten
Circle 3 coordinator, NSU Board member 2020-


Nicole des Bouvrie
Circle 3 coordinator, NSU Board member 2019-

the Netherlands