Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Institute of Advanced Study

Home Symposia

Home: Philosophical Foundations

26-27 September 2008  

Dwelling in Temporal Perspective

14 March 2008

Transcultural ‘Home': ‘Timeless' Ecologies and Philosophies

14 May 2009

Home: Displacement and Dispossession

29 June 2009  

  

Home: Philosophical Foundations

26-27 September 2008
The Birley Room, Hatfield College

This one-and-a-half day interdisciplinary symposium inaugurates the IAS sub-theme on ‘Home'. It honours the work of Professor David E Cooper by exploring a theme central to his work, namely the relation between being human and being at home in the world. 

What is the place of human beings in the great scheme of things? On some accounts, to be human is to have a soul, or in some other respect to be metaphysically set apart from the world. On others, it is to occupy an integral place in a more-than-human world - to be part of the natural order, perhaps.

The question of what it means to be human is in these respects closely related to the question of what it means to feel at home in the world. These are philosophical issues, yet they raise a host of more concrete questions for an interdisciplinary audience. How have conceptions of what it means to be at home in the world changed over the course of human (pre)history? What is the role of cultural memory in these transformations? How have other peoples understood the relations between their cultural identity and their land? Do current government policies do justice to the felt attachments of the displaced and dispossessed? In addressing these wider issues, the symposium will engage the interests of researchers in a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, geography and law. By so doing, it will provide a philosophical base for the remaining symposia in this series.

Speakers at this symposium include:

  • Graham Parkes (Cork)
  • Michael McGhee (Liverpool)
  • Emily Brady (Edinburgh)
  • Isis Brook (UCLAN).

Organiser: Dr Simon P James

  

Dwelling in Temporal Perspective

14 March 2008
The Birley Room, Department of Archaeology

 

One of the principal ways of being human - the creation of ‘home' - is deeply rooted in the past, stretching back into our primate ancestry. If the significance of home began by conferring selective evolutionary advantage, home soon became a way of expressing cultural values - a place of personal and social identity.  This second one-day symposium in the ‘home' series critically examines the culturally-specific ways the meaning of home have changed at key transitions in human prehistory and history: the origins of the first humans, the emergence of farming, the development of cities and their diffusion across the world as the dominant context of modern living. It is axiomatic that such massive human transitions would have impacted not only at the macro-level but also on the ways people settled their landscapes and made their dwellings. Understanding this poses a huge challenge to a wide range of specialists - biologists, ecologists, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, sociologists and palaeo-pathologists.  Building on foundations laid in the first symposium, this second meeting explores, over time, the recursive relationship between the forms of those homes and the human experience of dwelling in them.

Speakers at this symposium include:

  • Tim Ingold (Aberdeen)
  • Olga Soffer (Illinois)
  • Graeme Barker (Cambridge)
  • Heather Baker (Vienna).

Organiser: Dr John Chapman


Transcultural ‘Home': ‘Timeless' Ecologies and Philosophies

14 May 2009
Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall

Contemporary research on the cultural values of home has rested on notions of ‘being' and ‘feeling' human and at home in the space of ‘dwelling' (Heidegger) or ‘habitus' (Bordieu). These are critical philosophical starting points into thinking about the role of ‘home' in human consciousness, identity practices and in socio-political economies and networks. However, these are squarely based in a western canon. The symposium on transcultural values of ‘home' attends to the need within international quality research to think ‘home' transculturally and internationally beyond this framework of thinking. This is not to dismiss the cultural and philosophical values of ‘home' based on notions of ‘dwelling' and ‘habitus' but to build and extend dialogues across to the Antipodes where Maori and Aboriginal cultural values offer different starting points, timescales and relationships between individuals and society. The starting point for this symposium will be the figuring of ‘home' in non-Western cultures. ‘Home' in these social groups and contexts is philosophically embedded in different frameworks of time, heritage, territory and ‘dwelling'. Most importantly ‘social' and ‘post human' accounts of human-land relations are critical to rites, rituals and notions of social laws of land rights, human rights, appropriation and governance. The session will engage with the temporal and spatial historical evolution of idea through a truly interdisciplinary approach; embracing Archaeology, Anthropological ethnography, Psycho-sociological geographies of home and the reconceptualisation of ‘home' from post Imperial communities and colonies. Home as figured through varied conceptualisations of ‘social territory' including notions of mobility and time are critical in transcultural research which disrupts bounded categorisations of territory, settlement, residence and ‘home.

Speakers at this symposium include:

  • Kahutoi Te Kanawa (Te Wananga o Aotearoa)
  • Rosanna Raymond
  • Ruth Panelli (UCL)
  • Dean Sully (UCL)

Programme for workshop

Organiser: Dr Divya Tolia-Kelly

 

Home: Displacement and Dispossession

29 June 2009
Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall

It is a necessary aspect of being human that all of us - even the ‘houseless' - must ‘be' somewhere, existing in some relationship with place and experiencing the presence or absence (through displacement or dispossession) of a meaningful connection to home.  Yet, despite the authenticity of home attachments, government policies, as expressed through laws, have not typically attached significant weight to these home meanings, or to their central role in the occupier's experience of ‘being human'.  The focus of the fourth and final symposium in this series will be an examination of the legal and policy issues surrounding home and homelessness, including exiles and refugees.  It will consider how insights into the meanings and values of home across disciplines could enable a more informed, reflective and coherent approach to these contemporary issues within the legal and policy framework.  The symposium will also contribute to the development of the ‘Durham Home Research Charter', by identifying priorities and principles for future work in this area. 

Speakers at this symposium will include

  • Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy and Director of the Centre for Housing Policy, University of York;
  • Dr Padraic Kenna, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland);
  • Judy Nixon, Principal Lecturer in Housing Policy, Sheffield Hallam University (UK);
  • Professor Andre van der Walt, South African Research Chair in Property Law, Stellenbosch University (South Africa);
  • Dr Susan C. Breau, Reader in International Law, University of Surrey;
  • Professor Susan Bright, New College, Oxford;
  • Simon Underwood, Head of Social Inclusion (Chief Executive's Office, Newcastle City Council);
  • Alan Brice, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture;
  • Dr Lorna Fox O'Mahony and Dr James Sweeney, Durham Law School

Organisers: Dr Lorna Fox-O'Mahony & Dr James Sweeney

Further details of this workshop in June are available from this Displacement and Dispossession webpage

Attendance at these events is free but places are limited.  Contact the relevant organiser to register.