This collection of imaginative essays traces notions of hospitality across a sequence of theoretical permutations, not only as an urgent challenge for our conflicted present, but also as foundational for ethics and resonant within the play of language. The plural form of the title highlights the inter-implication of hospitality with its exclusive others, holding suspicious rejection in tension with the receptiveness that transforms socio-cultural relations. Geographically, the collection traverses the globe from Australia and Africa to Britain, Europe and the United States, weaving exchanges from south to north, as well as south to south, and thoughtfully remapping our world. Temporally, the chapters range from the primordial hospitality offered by the earth, through the Middle Ages, to contemporary detention centres and the crisis of homelessness. Thematically, hospitality embraces sites of dwelling and the land, humans and animals in their complex embodiment, spectres and the dead, dolls and art objects.This text openly welcomes the reader to participate in shaping fresh critical discourses of the hospitable, whether in literary and linguistic studies, art and architecture, philosophy or politics.
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors 1. Hospitalities: transitions and transgressions, north and south 2. Welcoming and pluralism in the romances of Chrétien, Wolfram and Gottfried 3. Guests, hosts, ghosts: towards an ethics of gothic writing 4. ‘A wandering to find home’: Samuel Beckett’s Molloy and the unhomeliness of home 5. Defying closure: hospitality, colonialism and mobility beyond the limits of the nation in Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi 6. Home is where the heart is: a creative and theoretical reflection 7. Hélène Cixous’ mourning of loss and the loss of mourning: from Algerian apprehensions to Hyperdream – and beyond 8. Inhospitable life: security and migrancy in Atticus Lish’s Preparation for the Next Life 9. Being a guest: from uneasy tourism to welcoming dogs in Marie Ndiaye’s Ladivine 10. Indigenous hospitality: Kim Scott’s fiction, multinaturalism and absolute conditional hospitality 11. ‘Yes to who or what arrives’: hospitality and property in contemporary art Index
Merle A. Williams is Professor Emerita of English at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a research associate of the African Centre for the Study of the United States.
‘The current geopolitical situation, with its growing crises of immigration and the widespread displacement and upheaval of entire populations, makes this project powerfully topical and urgent. Hospitalities will be an indispensable volume for students and scholars of philosophy, literature, literary theory, history, sociopolitical theory, and aesthetic theory.’
- Sheila Teahan, Michigan State University
‘The north-south and south-south take of the collection is an innovative and important angle which helps develop notions of hospitality. Not only does it add to the plurality of hospitalities in a new and radical way that should inform all forms of hospitality, but it also opens up a dialogue between different notions of hospitality by productively challenging ontological generalisations.’
- Cordula Lemke, Free University of Berlin