Konferenssit ja seminaarit

NSU Winter Symposium 2021 on ‘Home & Exile’

Osallistua voi joko konferenssiin tai sitten myös julkaisuun. Tapahtuma on hybridimuodossa, eli Tallinaan mennään vain jos tilanne sallii sen.

Exile — to be excluded, to be othered, to not belong. An important theme in theology, the arts and philosophy throughout history, it has become even more pressing in the 20th and 21st centuries. To what extent is exile an ontological condition of human existence? How is feminism exiling those by imposing the category of ‘Third World women’, as Mohanty has argued? And, is some kind of solitude even a prerequisite for creative endeavours, like Hannah Arendt has suggested? What kind of movements, thoughts, feelings and action enables a shift from exile to solitude? Is the body the place of exile, or can humans be exiled from their own bodies – for instance through motherhood? Can exile be reconciled with a sense of belonging? And how does language work for those who are excluded? Can the exiled subaltern even speak, in the words of Spivak?

Home — to belong, to be inside, to be accepted. Is the notion of home always a corollary to exile? As Sigmund Freud pointed out, the uncanny – which in German is called the unheimlich, literally the “unhomely” – arises in situations where we expect to feel at home but fail to do so. How does this existential failure to be at home contribute to the practise of hospitality and solidarity? How can we think of the human, in a perpetually exilic state? In Theology, the perpetual exilic state has classically been portrayed as humans being on their way – as pilgrims or nomads through life – constantly moving towards the Heavenly home of the eschaton. However, post-colonial critique has moved away from the emphasis on linear time and modern western notions of progress. Instead, it is suggested that humans could be situated in relation to space, place and other types of time. The tension between home and exile may not disappear but what kind of shifts occur when the place of belonging becomes our bodies and/or land – something immanent instead of a transcendent community.

This raises not only questions of human relationships with land, but also if the experiences and sensations of home and exile are bound to lived human communities. Can we experience a sense of belonging with the earth, animals and art or literature? How may these experiences intersect with each other and can feminist critique perceive a new way of relating to home and exile through different notions of time, matter and space? How does the articulation of philosophy or writing of literature shift if the aim is to portray a sense, and experience of, belonging or exile, that arrives from the body, from connection to earth, to cyclical times?

At the intersection of home & exile lies (an often violent) realm that is directly related to the phenomenon of migration and racism. When exile is such a fundamental form of human existence, why does it create such problems in today’s world? How can feminism contribute to thinking exile without incurring violence and inhospitable situations? What does solidarity look like when being at home in the world is at risk?