Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Reminder: Irigaray Summer School 2010

Luce Irigaray rang yesterday.  Really. 

We got to know one another last year when I attended her summer school in London. Now, many of you might be a bit tired of me harping on about this, but I want to - at least one more time - put up a notice about her summer seminar for post-grads in 2010. The seminar was, without question, the most intense and rewarding experience of the time I've spent working on my PhD. Not only did Irigaray offer one-on-one interpretations of my work, she is also a window into an intellectual climate in France that is long gone - but for which many of us long. Irigaray was there during the May 68 revolt. She studied under Lacan and even got herself kicked out of his course. She is strong, hard-headed with a mind like a trap for philosophy. She expects discipline in a way that no-one does anymore. If you want answers, you will find them. If you have questions to discuss, she will discuss them.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is that if feel like you're in isolation - typing out your feminist thoughts in a vacuum that seems unconcerned or even antagonistic - you will get a break from that. The seminar introduced me to intelligent, creative people who were in the same boat that I was. My isolation was remedied! We still keep in touch.

Invitation to the Seminar of Luce Irigaray, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, June 14-19, 2010.

Since 2003, Luce Irigaray has held an annual seminar for researchers doing their PhD on her work. The seminar offers the opportunity to receive personal teaching from Luce Irigaray and to exchange ideas, methods and experiences with other participants. The seminar was hosted by the University of Nottingham during the first three years (see Luce Irigaray: Teaching edited by Luce Irigaray with Mary Green, and published by Continuum, London & New York, 2008), by the University of Liverpool the fourth year, by Queen Mary, University of London, the fifth year and by the Goodenough College of London the sixth year. In 2010, it will be hosted by Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, in Ireland.

The framework of the seminar is this: a group of fifteen researchers doing their PhD on the work of Luce Irigaray stay one week on the university campus. The schedule includes: a presentation by each researcher of the aspect of their PhD which most focuses on the work of Irigaray, the discussion of this presentation by the group, comments from Luce Irigaray herself and her answers to questions raised by each participant. Also included are sessions devoted to the explanation of key-words or key-thoughts chosen by the participants. Personal meetings with Luce Irigaray are organised on the last day. The participants pay for their travel, but receive hospitality from the university. The seminar is conducted in English.

The participants in the seminar come from different regions of the world; they belong to different cultures, traditions and fields of research – Philosophy, Gender Studies, Religious Studies, Literature, Arts, Critical and Cultural Studies, etc. The themes of their research include, for example: the treatment of personal or cultural traumatic experience; the resources that various arts can offer for dwelling in oneself and with the other(s); the maternal order and feminine genealogy; the interpretation and embodiment of the divine today; the contribution of sexuate difference to personal and social development; new perspectives in philosophy etc. In each of these fields, diverse domains, approaches and methods are represented. To date, participants have come from Australia, Vietnam, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Ireland and from different regions and universities of the U.S.A. and of the U.K. Beyond the multicultural teaching which results from such a gathering, the participants learn to live together and to share in difference during the time devoted to the work, and also during meals, walks, personal meetings etc. The atmosphere of the seminar is intense but friendly and joyful, and its outcome highly successful for both the research and the life of each participant.

If you are interested and would like to participate in such a seminar please send, as soon as possible, a CV, a PhD abstract (1 page) and a presentation of the issues and arguments of your PhD that most focus on the work of Luce Irigaray (5-6 pages) to Luce Irigaray (by mail: 15, rue Lakanal, 75015 Paris, France). After receiving this material, Luce Irigaray will tell you if you can participate in the seminar of 2010. You will be contacted for further practical information by Marita Ryan at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick after the selection of the candidates.

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