The sixth annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT), hosted by the School of Law and Social Sciences at London South Bank University, will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.
Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.
Cecilia Canziani and Louise Garrett's stream takes as its point of departure Jacques Derrida’s interpretation of the historical and contemporary conditions of ‘hospitality’ in books such as On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness and Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle invites Jacques Derrida to respond. Against Kant’s ‘perpetual peace’, Derrida reads ‘hospitality’ as an aporia – an im-possibility embedded within the categorical imperative of unconditional hospitality. Hospitality and cosmopolitanism has also been addressed by (among others) Hannah Arendt in relation to the space of politics, Edward Said in the frame of cultural translation and exile, and John Berger and Zygmunt Bauman in relation to the European project and migrant experience. How do the conditions of migration and exile now complicate and re-inscribe the range of perspectives discussed by these authors?
Derrida understood ‘hospitality’ as an interrogative term to consider both public space as a bounded zone, in which the stranger/foreigner (étranger) is subject to the codes, rules and regulations of its host (city or state), and the common right of any stranger to any space; that is, the ethical imperative that the host receives whatever and whomever enters its domain. This stream is interested in analysing and addressing the possibilities of such hyperbolic, radical and unconditional hospitality in terms of both historical and contemporary cultural contexts. Given the present European and American political turns, in an environment marked by the Syrian crisis, questions of the contingencies of hospitality, refuge and sanctuary are ever more urgent.
This stream anticipates interdisciplinary approaches that illuminate and re-evaluate the currency of ‘hospitality’ as a term to examine how public space is regulated by its authorities as well as ‘performed’ (and transgressed) by its users – guests and hosts. This stream fosters current research and practice aimed at critically scoping and expanding concepts of ‘radical hospitality’ (in relation to space, mobility, migration, refuge, cosmopolitanism, travel, translation and related phenomena) in cultural contexts. Key considerations would include questions on how to operate in this increasingly fraught space of ongoing, contingent and restless translation and negotiation, in which the margins navigate and occupy the centres. Movement across borders, reorients ‘home’ as a space of coming and going, of ‘between-ness,’ of ‘unrest.’ How, then, is the potential of this space being articulated and utilised within cultural practices and spaces? How do we position ourselves or participate in this migratory space? Have participatory practices in art and politics been affected by the current scenario and do they have the potential to provoke new types of open, collaborative institutional and social structures? How do we act, hospitably, now? How does hospitality condition spatial politics? What is the law (or laws) of hospitality, and how do we negotiate its limits?
Find out more about the conference atthe official website http://londoncritical.org/