Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action, Study Circle 3 Nordic Summer University

Click to download full CFP [PDF]

Feminist philosophy:
Where is the human today? 

Nordic Summer University 2020:
Online/virtual event with local satellite events

July 26 to August 2

More information on the summer session:
More information on the feminist study circle :

Call for participation 

in experiments, workshops and exchange of thought

Scholars, students, artists and activists are invited to participate in the second conference of the Nordic Summer University study circle Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action (2020-2022) on the themes of Hospitality and Solidarity.

After the successful winter symposium in Turku, Finland on the topic of Feminism and Hospitality: Religious and Critical Perspectives in dialogue with a Secular Age, we would like to continue the shared platform of thought during our first summer symposium and further engage in a discussion on 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?

• feminist thought
• hospitality
• solidarity with the other
• religious and philosophical worldviews
• practices in a secular age.

We invite experiments, papers, presentations and workshops that approach any combination of these themes from different theoretical and methodological perspectives and in relation to various religious and philosophical traditions.

Proposing a Trace – Format of the presentation

Due to the extra-ordinary situation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a physical meeting with big numbers of people might not be possible in the summer of 2020. We are now inviting you to suggest alternative forms of interaction and community-building activities. How can we strengthen the core of what it means to be human, in light of hospitality and solidarity within feminist thought in these times? And how can we create traces of Hope in times of uncertainty?

We invite and encourage you to suggest online or small local gatherings (if and how it is possible) that produce a trace which can be shared with the larger community. We also accept more traditional forms of paper presentations however, organising that in more workshop modes of interaction so that we can avoid sitting all day in front of computer screens.

Thus, participation in the Summer Session of 2020 can take a variety of different forms. You may contribute with a more traditional academic paper and/or send in a suggestion for what we have called traces – this can be a online workshop, local meeting, an online panel discussion of papers, a reading or performance, sharing of a 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 shared activity.

Suggesting a trace will enable you to also receive a grant which supports the creation of that trace. Each circle will be able to suggest 6 traces to be given a grant of 7000 Danish Krones. Traces can be made individually or together with other participants.

The board of NSU has stipulated the following guidelines for how traces may be elected. A trace 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.
  • – created with its main language English or a Scandinavian or Baltic language.
  • – those who make a trace must be a member of NSU (pay membership fee) & participate in the democratic forum of NSU (may become a delegate for the General Assembly meeting)
  • – the team or individual creating a trace needs to provide some promotion material considered as an INVITATION to the trace, before the Summer Session with: picture & 200-500 words.
  • – those who make a trace need to provide a brief report of the trace to their coordinator (form to be provided by NSU, including amount of participants, goals, etc) after the trace has been produced

Feel free to suggest and send in your creative ideas together with a short biographical description, no longer than 500 words. We strongly encourage you to craft a format that suits your presentation, such as a workshop, experiment, exercise, or interactive dialogue that allows sharing in an appropriate manner taking the current situation in the world into consideration.

Interaction with other circles

During the summer session of the Nordic Summer University nine different study circles have a full program during the days, and participants are welcome to join the programs depending on their interests. 

This year, the circles might meet physically according to region or town, rather than according to topic. Feel free to suggest traces also of this kind – activities that can be organised in your region, ranging from things like

  • – daily coffee moments to check in
  • – listening workshop
  • – singing / reading together 
  • – local projects in nature or involving the community
  • – dinners, walks together in silence or talking
  • – writing workshop
  • – paper panels

This can be organised by a specific circle or a combination of circles. Like other years, the feminist circle will organise one ‘Greek symposium’ – meaning reading a play together while drinking wine, preferably outside. If you have any other suggestions of a cultural program for the evening, please let us know and we can help you organise this. 

Trace/Proposal deadline

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. Please apply by the same deadline if you’d like to join as a participant. 

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. A trace can be small – a picture of a local meeting – or big – a panel discussion, podcast with interviews, experimental writing workshop, etc. 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 31st, 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.