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The Conditions of Hospitality

Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible

Thomas Claviez

Publication Year: 2013

Hospitality is a multi-faceted concept that has been received by, and worked into, various academic realms and disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, anthropology, aesthetics, ethics, and translation studies. The essays collected in this volume, by a wide range of international contributors, examine how, in the wake of the work of Levinas and the late Derrida, this concept has entered into and transformed the thinking of these disciplines.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-6


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: “Taking Place”— Conditional/Unconditional Hospitality

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pp. 1-10

The essays assembled in this volume represent the collected contributions to a conference held in Stavanger, Norway, in September 2008, with the title “Th e Conditions of Hospitality.” It was designed to commemorate and contemplate the lasting influence and heritage of the works of Emmanuel Levinas and the late Jacques Derrida, which have allowed us to ...

The Ethics of Hospitality

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Hospitality—Under Compassion and Violence

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pp. 13-23

Hospitality has become the gateway to hell. I am aware that this might sound hyperbolic— I do, however, mean it seriously. One could picture Cerberus, in the antique representations of hell, guarding the entry to the netherworld, or Horus, in Egyptian mythology, weighing the good and bad actions as they are presented to him by those newly arrived, as figures of ...

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Transcending Transcendence, or: Transcendifferances: Limping toward a Radical Concept of Hospitality

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pp. 24-41

Transcendence has recently come under attack. It has come under suspicion in the entire debate about our globalized world, in theoretical discussions about cosmopolitanism, and in political manifestos that debate how to deal with the global village we have perceived our planet to be. And in a village, as is well known, everybody is each other’s neighbor....

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Toward a Mutual Hospitality

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pp. 42-54

In some cultures, hospitality does not raise any problem. In these cultures, which are generally feminine ones, the world is open, as is life itself. All, men and women, are children of a mother, in particular of the mother as nature. Th us peace governs, and also hospitality...

The Politics of Hospitality

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To Open: Hospitality and Alienation

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pp. 57-80

Hospitality has emerged as a key concept in our contemporary era of global migration. The Oxford English Dictionary defines hospitality as “the act or practice of being hospitable; the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, with liberality and goodwill.” The host (from the Latin, hospes), the individual agent who practices or gives hospitality, ...

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Frictions of Hospitality and the Promise of Cosmopolitanism

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pp. 81-93

In an original analysis of food consumption and exchange in the everyday life of a small hamlet on the southern seaboard of Norway, Runar Døving (2001; 2003) develops some subtle insights into the dynamics of hospital-ity. Describing the conventions of social visits in the community, he asks what the reactions would be if a guest insisted on not being served any-...

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Proximity and Paradox: Law and Politics in the New Eu rope

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pp. 94-110

In Another Cosmopolitanism, Seyla Benhabib promotes the idea that recent developments in international institutionalism evidence the growth of what she calls cosmopolitan norms.1 She turns to an emergency to set the stage. Genocide serves as her synecdoche for several new legislative and normative trends in human rights, especially in Eu rope. Noting the lack of...

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Conditions for Hospitality or Defence of Identity? Writers in Need of Refuge— A Case of Denmark’s “Muslim Relations”

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pp. 111-124

As one of the last decisions before it disassembled for the summer break in 2008, the Danish Parliament, Folketinget, passed two bills to facilitate the participation of Danish municipalities in the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN).1 On the face of it, it might be good news that yet another country opens its borders to writers targeted with threats and...

The Aesthetics of Hospitality

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Conviviality and Pilgrimage: Hospitality as Interruptive Practice

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pp. 127-144

When I first started thinking about hospitality almost ten years ago, I was wondering why it is even possible to discuss “immigration” as a facet of “hospitality.” More specifically, I was looking for a productive way to critique the unformulated connection between immigration and hospitality. Like most people I know, I find it plausible to imagine the immigrant as a ...

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Hospitality and the Zombification of the Other

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pp. 145-167

While hospitality was represented as a sacred duty in Homer’s Odyssey, the status of the stranger was also framed by uncertainty. A Greek could never know in advance whether the stranger was an enemy or a god in disguise. The conventions of Greek hospitality were therefore laced with a mixture of self-interest and the desire to please the gods. To share food ...

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The Art and Poetics of Translation as Hospitality

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pp. 168-184

I come from Bari, a city located on Italy’s southeastern shores, and, in 1991, the site of one of the most dramatic events to prove our unpreparedness to deal with mass exoduses. Th e event was called “the Albanian emergency,” in which the word “emergency” was already used as a synonym for danger of invasion, flooding, or border crisis. I am evoking and invoking...


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pp. 185-198

Works Cited

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pp. 199-210


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pp. 211-213

Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

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pp. 225-232

E-ISBN-13: 9780823251490
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823251476
Print-ISBN-10: 0823251470

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Cloth
Series Title: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy