By Harry Bregazzi
In October 2014, the University of Bristol hosted a one day workshop with philosopher and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray. The workshop was titled ‘Sharing the World’, after Irigaray’s (2008) book of the same name. The event focused on exploring the ethical and practical issues surrounding the sharing of a world that is defined by increasingly globalised forms of connectivity. Some key themes discussed included the nature of community, relations across cultural difference, hospitality, and human-nature relations.
The event was organised by Maria Fannin, who teaches on the Society and Space programme and uses Irigaray’s theory to inform her research. Two other key speakers also in attendance were critical theorist Judith Still and philosopher Michael Marder. The workshop attracted an audience of students and academics from across the UK, as well as from universities in Poland, Italy and the USA. Students enrolled on the Society and Space MSc were invited to attend, and so had the opportunity to meet with one of Europe’s most significant feminist/post-modern theorists.
At the time, I had just completed the Society and Space programme and had recently started my PhD. The workshop’s subject matter was, however, very much related to the work I had produced for my master’s dissertation, which investigated the place of peace in contemporary geographical study. Towards the end of the day’s discussion, members of the audience were allowed five minutes to present how the themes of Sharing the World related to their own research, as well as ask Luce questions. Below is an edited version of what I presented in that session. In it, I consider Irigaray’s discussion of community and encounter, in relation to the concept of peace.