The Art of Seeing and Hearing the Other, 20-21 April 2021, ETHER, Leeds, UK (Online Seminar).
How we see and hear the other is often shaped through our attachment to ideas, images and ideologies about ourselves, others and the world. Language ideologies, for instance, delineate what counts as language and as legitimate ways of language use. They set boundaries inside which another is heard, encountered and judged (Inoue, 2003; Piller, 2016). This kind of meeting, however, precludes genuine contact because the listening/looking subject’s ideological preoccupations always put another in the position of an object (‘it’) to be comprehended, made sense of or assimilated. Anthropological philosophy, on the other hand, has entertained the possibility that an authentic encounter with difference can be achieved with a relational shift from ‘I-it’ to ‘I-Thou’ (Buber, 2013). The latter requires the subject’s pre-reflective way of being-in-the world which regards oneself and the other as whole human beings who cannot be reduced to cultural categories (Levinas, 1972). The seminar will examine how the two stances are negotiated in real-life encounters and identify theoretical principles for enabling authentic meetings across divides.
Ethics and Aesthetics of Encountering the Other: New Frameworks for Engaging with Difference (ETHER) is a global research network of members working across academic, arts and public sectors, based at the School of Education at the University of Leeds. ETHER asks asks: How do people of conflicting worldviews, memories and future visions encounter each other?