As part of our re-designed 2020 summer session, the Nordic Summer University invites suggestions for online or small local gatherings on the themes of Feminist Philosophy – Solidarity and Hospitality. Each event should produce a trace which can be shared with the larger community: NSU’s feminist philosophy circle, our eight other multi-disciplinary study circles, and the wider members of the oldest nomadic Nordic university of its kind (read more about the history of NSU here!).

Grants are available for creating the event and its trace. Up to six traces to be given a grant of 7000 Danish Krones, selected by the Feminist Philosophy circle. Traces can be made individually or together with other participants.

What is a trace?

Traces could be: online workshops; local meetings; an online panel discussion of papers; a reading or performance; a shared of meal or walk together (considering the appropriate manner of physical interaction that is possible in the time and place where you are situated); presenting a piece of art, or another creative shared activity. You can also apply with more traditional forms of conference presentation, but we encourage you to choose a format that still allows a trace of your presentation: a workshop, experiment, exercise, or interactive dialogue; something that allows sharing.

The trace of your event with NSU needs to be:

●  produced by a single individual or group of participants.
●  sharable and open to all during the Summer Session time frame
●  fitting to NSU’s overall goals, aims and vision.
●  related to the circle’s theme – which you can read more about here
●  created with its main language English or a Scandinavian or Baltic language. ●  those who ultimately make the trace must be a member of NSU (this requires paying a small membership fee & participating in the democratic forum of NSU
●  the team or individual creating a trace needs to provide some promotion material considered as an INVITATION to the trace, before the Summer Session in July: picture & 200-500 words.
●  those who make a trace need to provide a brief report of the trace to their coordinator (the form will be provided by Board, including amount of participants, goals, etc) after the trace has been produced.

What is this year’s theme of the Circle?

Solidarity and Hospitality

The question of what defines the human being and humanism are recurring themes in the history of ideas, philosophy and theology. Historically the human being has been defined in relation to God, to animals and to the material world. Human centered reasoning can be found in Ancient Greece, most notably in the words of pre-Socratic philosopher Protagoras, who claimed that ”man is the measure of all things”. In an essay on education, Renaissance humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote that ”man is certainly not born, but made man”. In the debates about humanism in 20th century European philosophy, humanism became the occasion to protect and defend humans from powers and processes that tear them apart, sometimes threatening to annihilate humanity altogether. Since then, the intellectual strands of post-humanism and trans-humanism have taken the project of decentering the human even further. For feminists, the tradition of humanism constitutes a challenge. If “what is proper to man” is attributed only to elite Western men, then humanism “functions ideologically to justify exploitation and oppression” (Kruks: 2012: 21). Nonetheless, the question of the human being and the values of humanism cannot be jettisoned as such. During this sympodium, we will focus on the intersections between feminist theory, humanism and posthumanism. What does the legacy of humanism mean for feminists today? How should the concepts of woman and man be understood in relation to the concept of the human? Where is the human today? What does it mean to be human today?

How do I apply?

Please send in proposals for a trace, which can include a paper, presentation, workshop or other type of experiment by May 31st, 2020, to:

Please indicate what format of presentation you are interested in, and how you envision the resulting trace that can be shared with other participants in virtual or other manner. Please also send in a short bio (5-10 lines) we can share with all participants beforehand. You are also welcome to participate without giving a presentation.

Offering grants to create traces

Several grants will be made available for individuals or groups organising the production of a trace in collaboration with the other participants. If you would like to apply for a grant to create a trace that can celebrate the NSU spirit throughout the world, please let us know when you send in your application. As always, NSU is particularly interested in supporting people who are at the outskirts of the Nordic region – the Baltic and West-Nordic communities as well as those with special needs. So please do inform us if your application of a trace grant falls under the regional support or if the pandemic has had particular financial consequences to you. There is only a limited amount of grants available per circle, the deadline to apply is May 30th, 2020. When you are offered a grant to produce a trace, you will need to respond by email to accept the grant, otherwise it will be offered to the next person on the list.

I still need inspiration…

To celebrate 70 years of NSU’s activism and scholarship, in 2019 we embarked upon a series of arts-research projects which reflected the history of NSU and wider expressions of ‘Nordic’ values. One of our original proposal ideas for artists told the story of the feminist organising which characterised NSU’s early days – you can read more about it here.

One of our ten arts-research projects uses a chain of letters between female contemporary Nordic writers to performatively explore relations between feministic traditions of NSU and the situation of women in the Nordic countries today. You can read more about that work, by Hild Borchgrevink, here, and read some of the letters (in Nordic languages) here.

You can also follow the Feminist Philosophy circle here on Facebook.

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