Saturday, 3 March 2012

Summary of February's Meeting

On Tuesday we achieved the seemingly impossible feat of connecting Derridean theory and medieval Robin Hood ballads. To summarize:

Laurie began by discussing the notion of hospitality and the ways in which it has been theorized. This led us to ask: should hospitality be understood, and practiced, as an economic pact, or as a gesture of (potentially disastrous) openness? And what do we mean when we talk about 'hospitality' - what kind of personal, social and geographic boundaries are involved? Can we talk about all these things at once - does Derrida? And how successfully?

This led us on to the Robin Hood ballad and Robin's own 'hospitable' practices. We discussed the ways in which Robin positions himself as a greenwood host, and what this says about his social, economic and spatial position.  We talked a little more generally about the ballad itself and its contexts of production. We also idly wondered why the otherwise sparse ballad describes the many birds Robin eats for dinner in such minute detail ! "There fayled none so litell a birde / That ever was bred on bryre."

Thanks to all who came to another enjoyable session.

Finally, we will have some exciting news soon  regarding a 'Spaces in Theory' excursion. Details will follow shortly.

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