Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice by Judith Still

By Judith Still

Winner of the R. H. Gapper booklet Prize 2011. Judith nonetheless units Derrida's paintings in a sequence of contexts together with the socio-political historical past of France, in particular in terms of Algeria, and his courting to different writers, most significantly Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Emmanuel Levinas - key thinkers of hospitality. nonetheless additionally follows the thread of sexual distinction in Derrida's writing for you to make clear his exploration of the complicated and mild, unusual but regular, political and moral dilemmas of the way to be these most unlikely issues, an outstanding host and a superb guest.Hospitality is seriously vital in Derrida's writings, and his insights during this were influential throughout a number disciplines from geography, politics and sociology to literary reviews and philosophy. It capabilities as a manner of either considering kin among members, and analysing the neighborhood or state's usually inhospitable reception of outsiders, equivalent to refugees or migrants.

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Extra resources for Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice

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27 In Chapter 5 in particular, I shall return to the question of the violence attendant upon hospitality in relation to the three great monotheistic religions that Derrida brings together (following a certain tradition) as Abrahamic. All three prize hospitality as fundamental, but all three also stage the control of (women’s) bodies as critical to social order. The Old Testament stories of Lot and of the Levite of Ephraim are emblematic in this respect. Greek tales of rapt (such as Paris’ seizing of Helen) and Roman stories of rape (such as Tarquin’s violation of Lucretia), specifically in the context of hospitality, are also retold and reinterpreted in many different ages and contexts to be suffused with the meanings of the day.

57 Asylum is dependent on, and controlled by, the law; it is a matter of rights. Asylum here is a relation between the State (or local government) and a certain category of persons (defined by law whether loosely such that anyone who asks for asylum should be granted it, or much more tightly). The progressive narrowing of the understanding of asylum on the part of the nation state – so that France, for example can demand that refugees derive no economic benefit from living in France, an almost impossible demand which denies any possibility of social integration, say, through employment – encourages the turn to the city.

There are two other reasons for evoking Irigaray’s writing; the first is that I should like to put forward the argument that it is a particular imaginary of the female body and of the feminine that marks our cultural understanding of hospitality in many ways, and that relates both to our desire for the experience of hospitality and to our sometimes violent reaction against it. 30 It is unsurprising that, particularly in the current macrocosmic political situation, we are concerned by issues of ethnicity and migration.

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