Nordic Geographers meeting

Although later than I’d have prefered, in the next couple of days I will be preparing my paper for the Nordic Geographers Meeting next week in Roskilde. It’s called ‘What remains of the intersubjective?: on the presencing of self and other’. I’m meant to be talking about how…

“Recently work in geography has become increasingly concerned with how we understand the subject. This has often revolved around a critique of the ways in which the subject has been traditionally understood – as a mental entity organizing, and so existing prior to, experience. In its place, a relationally conceived subject has been posited, one which emerges through a combination of embodied experience and (increasingly) haunting absent presences. However, this work has yet to think through the implications of this critique for how we understand intersubjective relations. If a subject is not self-present, how can we be present to and for other subjects? What remains of the intersubjective when any such subject entering into a relation has already been decentred? In response to these questions, the paper draws on the work of Jean-Luc Nancy to develop an understanding of subjectivity and so intersubjectivity as movements of presencing whereby the subject is always in approach to itself and others, but is never actually reached, never self present, always already receding; there is a spacing at the heart of any relation. This is developed and illustrated in light of an event of encounter between a street performer and a member of their audience which is performatively narrated so as to expose and re-present the spacing inherent in such relations.”

I’ve presented a few versions of this elsewhere/have written a full paper length version of this and so was hoping to have time to do something a little different with this paper (potentially going more into trad. phenomenological accounts of intersubjectivity (either through Husserl or Edith Stein’s work)), but it looks like that will have to wait.

I’m presenting it in a session (or track as they’re called here) organized by John Wylie and Paul Harrison titled ‘Human Remains’ (in fact, they’re almost a mini-conference in themself given they run in 6 of the 7 parallel sessions – the conference programme is here). There’s a few papers in it (including one by John himself) which appear to be engaging with Nancy so hopefully will be some scope for interesting conversation…

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About Paul Simpson

I am currently a lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Physical and Geographical Sciences at Keele University. I've previously lectured at Plymouth University, and again at Keele before that. I completed my PhD (titled 'Ecologies of Street Performance: Bodies, Affects, Politics') at the University of Bristol in 2009.
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