IAPL 2002 Intermedialities
Erasmus University Rotterdam
1. Concept of the conference
2. Cultural ‘supplement’
3. Plenary activities/lectures/debates
4. Some statistics
5. Scientific report: general structure
1st Plenary session: Luce Irigaray
2nd Plenary session: Hugh J. Silverman
Rosi Braidotti, Dominique Janicaud, Heinz Kimmerle, Slavoj Zizek
6. Appreciation of participants
7. Scientific spin off
The proposal of organizing the 26th annual conference of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature (IAPL) at Rotterdam Erasmus University was made during the 24th IAPL Conference ‘Crossing Borders’ at Stony Brook, State University New York in June 2000 by dr. Henk Oosterling (EUR). It was planned to be the first regular annual conference outside the US. He joined the IAPL for the first time in 1999, giving a key lecture in Hartford (Ct) at the 1999 Conference ‘Sites’ and in the millenniumconference in Napels ‘Turnings’ in 2000, while participating in sessions in 1999, 2000 and 2001 Conferences.
Oosterling was invited to join the Board of the IAPL during 2001 in Atlanta Conference ‘Beginnings’, where his proposal for the topic – Intermedialities – was accepted. This title referred to the 5-year research project of the Center for Philosophy & Arts (CFK), one of the research institutes of the Department of Philosophy of the EUR. Oosterling had initiated and coordinated this research project. In 2002 this project would be finalized in the 5th issue of the journal of the CFK, InterAkta on ‘Art and public space’(see: www.eur.nl/fw/cfk). Next to enhancing the networks of both the participating EUR scholars and their colleagues of other Dutch universities, one of the outcomes of the IAPL Conference could be used to catalyse the results of this research project to more extensive, international networks.
1. Concept of the conference
The IAPL held its annual international meeting in the period of 3-8 June 2002, at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Papers and discussions reflected the tendency in current aesthetics and political philosophy to critically explore the phenomena of mediation in art and politics and the way these mediations and the involved media tend to become a qualitative experience and practice on its own. This philosophical research on media covers a broad area: philosophical (concepts), artistic (language, paint, film, etc), political (money, power) and technological (radio, tv, computer, webcam). This research implies fundamental questions on epistemological, ethical, artistic and political relevance of an experience that is intrinsically related to mediation: that of the ‘in between’.
This experience has gained more and more relevance during the last 25 years, not in the least of the influence of the democratizing process of communication systems. One of the effects was the dissolving oppositions in both a conceptual and practical sense, that way back in the seventies still was phrased as society as a ‘melting pot’ and nowadays has gained more relevance as the ‘multicultural society’. In this process not only politically borders are crossed and nihilated, but also differences have gained a more prominent attention than identities, in spite of the efforts to reinstitute identity as a cultural an etnic parameter.
This crossing of borders also counts for the sciences and the arts. Not only has interdisciplinarity become a productive practice in scientific research, together with multimedia it has become prominent in artistic mediations, like theatre, architecture, dance, cinema and visual arts. On a reception-aesthetic level, where the ‘consumer’ experiences these mediation in musea, public spaces, theaterhalls, cinematheaters and behind their computer interfaces, crossbreedings of disciplines and artistic media - ‘inter’ and ‘multi’ – has enhanced their reflective imagination and ‘inter’active capacities. This raises the question how productive the crossbreeding of scientific, artistisc and political discourses can be. Intermediality covers the three domains of interdisciplinarity, multimedia and interactivity.
This tendency is nowadays reflected in educational institutions: the implementation of philosophy, art and cultural education in socalled curriculum profiles on high schools. But the multicultural society where differences and tensions are more prominent than a so called shared identity needs a rethinking of the experiences of the ‘inter’ and the ‘multi’. In order to understand these shifting interests on a conceptual level this calls for the development of discourses that enable to articulate experiences of the in between: between art and politics, between art and culture, between virtual and actual, between theory and experience, between technology and culture, between the modern and the postmodern, between the representation and the represented, between law and justice, between truth and style.
Current aesthetics and socio-political philosophy aims to construct basic insights in the reflection of the in between. These debates can be traced as far as the beginning of the 19th century and stretches to contemporary debates: philosophically from German idealism to French post-structuralism, artistically from Coleridge via Wagner to 20th century avant garde and architecture and politically in the reflections on the relation between community and individuality. In the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century these phenomena were integrated conceptually in a debate on intermediality. These debates, however, were mostly motivated by specific art disciplines, such as literature, theatre, cinema and tv sciences. As a result of the introduction of computers and the digitilisation of communication processes Information and Communication Technology has become more important.
The network structure of these in betweens and the ‘inter’activity constitutive for this networking could not yet be articulated in an adequate philosophical framework. In order to explore and enhance this discourse and to configure distinct traditions into one coherent view on the character of intermediality and on the sources of its conceptualization, the IAPL conference invited its members and well known and respected philosophers and artists to reflect upon these issues during five days. They all address the issues of the in between from their respective scientific and aesthetic points of view.
To contextualize the debates socio- and cultural politically the multicultural city of Rotterdam was taken as a horizon for conference related activities. This idea was graphically realized in the Conference Book, specially designed for this Conference and financed by the partners of the Center for Philosophy & Arts, i.e. designer Paul Stoute, the Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam (CBK) and V2_Organisation for New Media (V2).
To enhance the ‘Rotterdam Experience’ after Rotterdam being European Cultural Capital in 2001, at Monday evening the 3rd of June the participants, staying at the Hilton Hotel, the Golden Tulip Hotel and the Student Housing near the Woudenstein Campus were warmly and philosophically welcomed in the Townhall’s Burgerzaal by the Mayor of Rotterdam, mr. Ivo Opstelten.
On Wednesdag the world famous, much rewarded Dutch theatregroup ZT Hollandia (see: the included playlist), known for their innovative and multimedial research in contemporary theatre practices enacted the play Voices based on the posthumous diaries of Paolo Passolini in the auditorium of the EUR.
On Friday the cinematographer Peter Greenaway, known for his innovative use of a broad range of artistic media and his ideas on ‘exploding cinema’ that he presented a few years ago as a guest at the International Film Festival Rotterdam gave a visual and verbal presentation of his newest ‘intermedial’ projects – The Tulse Luper Suitcases - in the same auditorium.
To illustrate the historical ties between Rotterdam and the USA based IAPL the end manifestation of the conference was held at the Holland America Lines (HAL) on the former confines of the central harbour area, from which during the last century most European emigrants left for America. This was also celebrated in 2001 on Ellis Island in New York. The HAL is located near the Erasmus Bridge and is recently rebaptized Kop van Zuid.
In order to give the participants the possibility to get more intensely acquainted with the ‘Rotterdam Experience’ they were given a week travel ticket for public travelservices (bus, tram, metro). This was very much appreciated. Finally, to enhance the idea of the multicultural aspects of Rotterdam and of Dutch society, the Department organized Surinam, Turkish and Indonesian dinner receptions.
In cooperation with V2_Organisation all plenary sessions and Close Encounters were registered digitally by two videocamera’s. It was also filmed by two American-Korean scholars and by the coordinator of Centre de Recherches de l’Intermédialité/Centre for Research on Intermediality, Montreal (CRI).
A minor setback at the beginning of the Conference was caused by the fact that one of the keynote speakers, prof. dr. Jean-Luc Nancy, had fallen ill and could not attend the conference. During the conferenceweek the translation of one of his recent books – De Indringer - was released by Boom Publishers and was planned to be presented on Thursday at Bookshop Donner in the Center of Rotterdam. Although Nancy could not participate, the Close Encounter on his work, organized and supervised by dr. Laurens ten Kate was succesfully held. For the End debate on Saturday prof. dr. Dominique Janicaud was asked to join in, an invitation he gladly accepted.
Another of the Departments emeriti, prof. dr. Jan Sperna Weiland was asked to ‘update’ Erasmus for the Conference Book, in order to link the humanist project of Erasmus to the debate of intermedialities (see: Conference Book pp. 9-12) and to relate the University patron’s body of ideas to the topic of the conference.
The whole conference took 5 full days (3rd - 8th June 2002), every day beginning at 9h00 in the morning in 10 parallel session rooms at the C and D level of the Main Hall of the main building at the Woudenstein Complex. Each day was finalized with a plenary event (lecture, presentation, play, debate) and a reception/dinner for all participants, that lasted till 22h00 in the evening to accommodate intellectual ‘networking’.
The total amount of registered participants were 420 contributors – the greatest amount of partipators in the 26 year history of IAPL - that arrived and left over the period of these 5 days.
Monday: Evening welcome by the Mayor of Rotterdam in Townhall: about 170 persons.
Tuesday: Key lecture of prof. dr. Luce Irigaray: about 380 persons. Reception Dept. of Philosophy: about 250 persons
Wednesday: Theatre piece ZT Hollandia Voices: about 400 persons. Reception Erasmus University: about 250 persons
Thurday: Plenary session on prof. dr. Hugh Silverman (see: included press release): about 300 persons. Reception Dept. of Philosophy: about 190 persons
Friday: Presentation The Tulse Luper Suitcases by Peter Greenaway: about 400 persons. Reception Faculty Club: 180 persons
Saturday: End debate with prof. dr. Rosi Braidotti, prof. dr. Dominique Janicaud, prof. dr. Heinz Kimmerle and prof. dr. Slavoj Zizek, introduced and chaired by dr. Henk Oosterling: about 350 persons. End manifestation Holland-America Lines: about 175 persons
Scientific report: general structure
In order to also experience the in betweens of philosophy, art, and politics in a more emphatic way - and of course to enhance the interdisciplinary imagination of the more than 400 contributors to the conference – next to the plenary debates and the end debate, artistic ‘intermezzo’s’ were planned on cinema and theatre. After Luce Irigaray’s on Tuesday evening had opened with her lecture on ‘The Ecstacy of the Between-Us’, on Wednesday evening Theatregroup ZT Hollandia performed its internationally succesfull (see: included playlist) theatrepiece Voices on Pasolini. In the five monologues played by one actor the artistic performance is interwoven with philosophical reflections that address thé political issues of our time.
On Thurday evening the oeuvre of Hugh J. Silverman, the director of IAPL who has written and edited books on several post-structuralist thinkers and the tension between the modern and the postmodern was debated by five scholars, while on Friday evening filmmaker Peter Greenaway presented his last Internet project The Suitcases of Tulse Luper and explained how and why he developed his specific cinematography in which al kinds of artistic media (visual arts, literature, architecture, dance, theatre, repetitive music, cinema) are interrelated, what the motivation of interdisciplinary cooperation with worldfamous artists (Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Micheal Nyman) was and why he eventually turned to the interactive medium of the Internet.
On Saturday six other main speakers presented their views. Four of them in so called Close Encounters, in which 6 to 7 scholars - specialized in the work of the inivited guest - present their critical approaches after which the invited guest reacts: Peter Greenaway on intermedial art, Heinz Kimmerle (Erasmus University) on intercultural philosophy, Dominique Janicaud (University of Nice) on his specific philosophical position ‘between Hegel and Heidegger’ and Jean-Luc Nancy on the way how in his texts on the ‘communeauté’ the ‘interval’ has been conceptualized.
Finally in the end debate, chaired by Henk Oosterling (Erasmus University/coordinator) Nancy and Kimmerle are joined by Slavoj Zizek (University of Ljubljana/Princeton) and Rosi Braidotti (University of Utrecht). Issues taken up by Irigaray, rephrased and enhanced by the debate on the inbetween – or beyond – of the seemingly oppostion between modern and postmodern and articulated in a more specific sense in the Close Encounters are again addressed from socio-political (Zizek), feminist’s ethical (Braidotti), intercultural (Kimmerle) and philosophical-anthropological (Janicaud, who took the place of Nancy who had fallen ill in the epriod before the conference) persepective. The main ‘target’ was the being of the inbetween as a literal ‘inter-esse’ as a rephrasing of Kant’s idea of ‘sensus communis’ developed in his Kritik der Urteilskraft that was also the foundation of his reception aesthetics and in his athropological writings and the question whether this inter-esse could be conceptualized ‘beyond borderlines’.
1st Plenary session: Luce Irigaray
In the opening plenary session on Tuesday 4th of June, Luce Irigaray, based in Paris (C.N.R.S.), well known to the Rotterdam scientific community as a result of her having taken the Tinbergen chair in 1983, but even more famous in the international community for her fundamental revision of the Freudian and Lacanian discourse on feminity, discussed “The ecstacy of the between us”, an ’intermedial’ reflection based upon one of her last books, translated as To be two (2001, Routledge). Irigaray argued that dominated for centuries by the One, our culture today conceives passion for its contrary: the multiple, either horizontal or vertical. Such a plurality, which rejects the authority of the One, nevertheless seems to be part of the same logic. It even runs the risk, in spite of the appearance of liberation, of remaining a reverse, which undoes a cultural texture woven by the culture of the One, without being able to propose another which could secure the coherence and becoming of human subjectivities. It is so much so that this claiming for pluralism today goes along with a turning back to the texts which have founded the culture of the One: the texts of Plato. We are in a way turning in a circle between the Greek beginnings of our culture and its criticism, without giving rise to a really different culture.
Having lost the key which gathered, not without some problems, his existence and its coherence, the subject thus searches for himself in the diverse activities where he invested himself, intending to maintain these without domination of the one or the other. From that, Irigaray in connecting philosophy with art further argues, derives the new academic status of art. Thus the part of the subject capable of art in writing goes to meet the part capable of visual, theatrical or cinematographic art. Here she introduces two aspects of the intermedial: interdisciplinarity and multimediality. This quest takes place through a work often already finished, thus through an objective trace of whom and of which being human as such would be or could be. This quest unfolds with a distance from oneself and from the other, created by a mastery of matter and a certain technique.
After these reflections Irigaray transposes this problematic to the level of the media. It is in a way the same in the world of media that today takes place in our surroundings. To be sure, we can be amazed by the possibility of communicating from a distance thanks to technological progress. To be sure, we can be satisfied because some media speak to our eyes, the others to our ears and even to touch as such. We can enjoy this proliferation of evidences of human ability, which fulfills and even saturates our wantings. But we will not cure, for all that, a lack in our culture with regard to intersubjectivity. In this one, at best we communicate with another through a third: a common world, a common language or culture, a common God, etc. We communicate in a third which regulates our exchanges. Here she situates the experience of the in bewteen. In a Heideggerian way: ecstatic, i.e. as something that stands (stasis) outside us (ek) in which we are at the same time completely involved. And it is patent that our times, said to be the epoch of communication, are so deficient in inter-communication that it becomes usual to see people of all ages and of all conditions speaking alone in public places.
Then Irigaray switches to a more socio-political level in raising questions about ‘multiculturality’. The authority of the One, which supported our world and delimited the horizon of our exchanges, is contested: inside of a same culture and because of the mingling of cultures. At the same time that such a crisis of inter-communication appears and imposes finding solutions, the media, computers and networks, like multiculturality, serve to cancel the problem: in a culture or between cultures. To care about speaking-with is a new eluded by a speaking-of. Then the things or information about which we speak, little by little cover over our capacity for dialoguing.
These reflection bring Irigaray to ‘ethics’, the piece de résistance of her oeuvre. Besides the daily consequences of a loss of inter-communication-solitude, conflicts, wars but also standardization and authoritarianism of political and cultural powers - it is human beings who are losing their capacities for awakening - to themselves, to the other(s), to the world. Humanity as such is in danger, not only because or nuclear risk of the pollution of the planet, but because of a loss of relational capacities. Medical assistance, political paternalism, media systems cannot give back to human subjects - divided between diverse fields, knowledges and competences - the place of a unity of themselves necessary to their survival and their becoming. Such a oneness could be found again thanks to a relation of dialogue with the other, particularly the different other. It is this dialoguing that in the end debate became the topic of the lecture of other invited speakers like Dominique Janicaud (University of Nice) and Heinz Kimmerle (Erasmus University).
From her feminist’s perspective Irigaray opts that the universal paradigm of this difference lays between man and woman. Listening to each other, through an exchange of their values, acknowledging the sexual difference, they could construct a world founded on the relation-between and not on the authority of the One. Such a new gesture could provide our humanity with a culture of inter-communication going from the more humble speaking of our daily exchanges to the more universal interweaving of a democratic global community.
The debate after Luce Irigaray’s lecture was extensive and highly inspiring. Striking was her accentuation of religion and the urgence of transcendency, as a result of which more Deleuzian inspired thinkers as Paul Patton (University of New South Wales) asked her to elaborate on the relation with the notion of ‘immanence’ as this was developed by Deleuze. Several other issues were taken to their radical consequences: the role of the body and its senses within a mediated world, the political deconstruction of the discourse One and the relevance of a philosophical attitude. Heinz Kimmerle interrogated Irigaray on the change in her critical views on hegelianism: her recent insistance on ‘two’ instead of the ‘multi’ at least suggests that she revalues this former oppositional structure. The debate focussed upon the hegelian overtones that, according to several other speakers in the audience, like the Spinoza scholar and gender theoretician Moira Gatens (University of Sidney) returned in Irigaray’s discours on the in between and the renewed risk of polarisation. Patton interrogated Irigaray on the political relevance and the emancipatory power of this in between referring to his latest publication Deleuze an the Political (Routledge 2000). These issues were more intensely addressed in separate sessions during the week. Irigaray was criticized by Naarah Sawers (post-colonial studies, Deakin University, Australia) on her denial of the necessity of emancipation of repressed desires. According to her this seemed to be a change in Irigaray’s position regarding her earlier work, but she herself attested that this shift was not normative.
From participants with a backround in gender theory, and women studies Irigaray was further interrogated on her recent views on the relation between bio-technology, genetics and gender, as a result of which several problematic issues on technology were raised and the Dutch debate on biogenetics was implemented in the discussion. All of these issues were elaborated later on during the week in different sessions and were constantly taken back into the plenary debate on Silverman and the plenary end debate. Rosi Braidotti finally concluded that to her opinion the Irigaray’s shift was eventually ‘religious’. This indicates to her that – as was the case with Derrida, Vattimo, and Caputo [and in The Netherlands Hent de Vries] – this philosophy looses her critical potency.
2nd Plenary session: Hugh J. Silverman
The critical impact of the thinking of the in between also appeared to be the issue in the plenary debate on the oeuvre of Silverman. (see: Conference book, p. 19) His ‘intermediary’ work was reflected upon from different angles by Erik Vogt (University of Vienna/Oxford), Christina Howells (University of Oxford), Thomas R. Flynn (Emory University), Tony O’Connor (University College Cork), Serge Trottein (CRNS Villejuif) and Kuisma Korhonen (University of Helsinki). In spite of the appreciation that all contributions expressed on Silverman’s interpretations of postmodern philosophy, especially O’Connor raised the question of the political dimension of his interpretation of the in between. Did Silverman revitalized his postmodern philosophy within the new constellation of politico-economic globalization? Or did his interpretation turned out to be too sterile to be used for an adequate analysis of this new politico-economic phenomenon, as a result of the fact that it could not cope with the violent gesture that polarized differences into identities as we have seen with the so called etnic violence in former Yougoslavia and the multicultural urban spaces? To several critics in the audience it was. In the end debate this point was further elaborated by Slavoj Zizek.
Oosterling objected to Silverman that he did not performed the affirmative shift from post-structuralism (a negative, parasitic notion on the Levi-Straussian, Lacanian and Althusserian structuralism) to a philosophy of differences, in which the in between has gained a much more affirmative meaning and plays a constitutive role in contemporary analyses. By staying within this ‘parasitic mode’ the violent act of establishing identities stayed out of sight.
The discussion boiled down to the intrinsic violence that is presupposed in every identity: Each identity is based upon an active forgetting that is necessary to annihilate the struggle that installed this identity. That led Oosterling – referring to Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin – to the conclusion that the in between is not the result of a confrontation or engagement of two already given positions or identities. It is this nietzschean trait within the philosophies of differences that accepts the constitutive power of tensions.
Finally the debate culminated in the meaning of ‘crossing borders’ in referring back to Irigaray’s notion of transcendency. Is it possible to cross a border without immediately drawing a new line? Is every crossing not haunted by a ‘double’crossing: the crossing out of one’s own transgressive violence? That the Revolution deavours her own children is a well known phenomenon, but an adequate analysis of this phenomenon has only been given in socio-psychological terms. Is it possible to explain this ‘cannabalism’ or autophagy in terms of an analyses of the constitutive violence that haunts every community? Alas, Jean-Luc Nancy was not present to react upon this challanging perspective, but the participants to the Close Encounter dedicated to his work worked on Saturday morning would further elaborate on the idea that “ultimately the in-common and the structure of the interval, if one has to define, should be a contra-essential definition. (…) This does not mean that one must hasten to proclaim some ‘responsibility for the community’ (or the ‘state’, the ‘people’, ‘society’). Rather, this means, we are in charge of the avec or the inter in, for and by which we exist in a strict, literal and radical sense: that is, to which we are exposed”, as he concludes his text in the Conference book.(p. 48)
Plenary End debate:
Braidotti, Janicaud, Kimmerle, Zizek (Oosterling: introduction, chair)
Inter-esse: beyond borderlines
After the introduction of Oosterling on the topic of the conference and a summary of the results of the plenary debates that has been held during the Conference, Janicaud, referring to Heidegger, Buber and Derrida, and working on the tragedy of Antigone and the role of art, elaborated the notion of ‘dialogue’. After an introductory remark on the way Hegel deduced the notion of difference in his Reflexionbestimmungen in the Wissenschaft der Logic as secundary to a postulated, but non-foundational reflexive identity, Kimmerle criticized this idea in order to focus upon the relevance of the ‘inter’ in intercultural philosophy, the project he had been working on during the last 13 years.
Zizek fiercely criticized both Janicaud and Kimmerle for their lack of radicality in analysing differences, the inbetween and multiculturalism against the background of globalization. According to him multiculturality and philosophies of differences are academic commodities in a world economy that is in need of variations in a depoliticized consumer attitude. Circulating and advocated in this uncritical manner these philosophies strenghten the existing socio-economic inequalities. To be more precise: to Zizek multiculturalism and all sorts of fundamentalism are the two sides of the same coin. Instead of this affirmation of so called ‘nomadic aesthetics of existence’ Zizek too pointed towards the inavoidable violence within politics and the inescapable necessity to compromise and to act.
Braidotti finally opposed Zizek’s claim in indicating that the body and its senses are involved in the world in a less reflective way as his still Hegelian and Lacanian analysis suggested. She pleaded consequently for more space for precisely those in between interactions that open up this reflectivity for other possibilities and desires. From a feminist perspective Braidotti defended new areas for critical reflection like bolemia and annorexia as indicators for a repressed desires.
Appreciation of participants
The active participation in a total of 74 sessions included audiences varied from 5 to 30 persons, in the Close Encounters 15 to 50. As indicated above plenary debates and events were massively attended by both participants and visitors (proportionally 4:1). We can without any restraint conclude that the conference was a great success. During the conference and afterwards participants time and again have expressed their gratitude to staff members – 14 infrastructure staffmembers for the EUR [students economics and philosophy], 15 registration staffmembers of IAPL - and colleagues in such a way that it surpasses the obligatory exchange of social formalities. Just to give you an impression, some email reactions afterwards:
“I just wanted to tell you how impressed I was with the organization of the Rotterdam conference. You did a fantastic job bringing together hundreds of cloudy headed philosophers and making sure that we were well fed, entertained in a critically provocative way, and unharried. I loved Rotterdam and wouldn't mind if iapl always took place there.” (Dr. Karyn Ball, Department of English, University of Alberta)
“Thanks for organizing a very good conference.” (Prof. dr. Ewa Ziarek, English, University of Notre Dame, member of the board IAPL)
“I really enjoyed it - thanks!. Thanks again!” (Prof. dr. Slavoj Zizek, University of Ljubljana)
“I just want to thank you for hosting such a wonderful conference. I worked for the IAPL for 6 years (from 1995 to 2000) myself so I know a little bit how difficult it is to host a conference”. (Dr. Jin Y. Park, Department of Philosophy and Religion, American University Massachusetts
“So glad you survived not only the IAPL experience (before, during, and after), but the Masterclass week as well. It can be done! Your work was, of course, superb: the conference was absolutely great.
Congratulations on a complete success, at every level” (Prof. dr. Stephen Barker, University of California at Irvine, member of the board IAPL)
“I'm leaving Holland and I just wanted to thank you very much for the wonderful time I had both at the IAPL Conference and at the Zizek Seminar. Not only the academic part but also the "events" were absolutely perfect” (Dr. Laura Gioscia, University of Montevideo, Uruguay)
“Gefeliciteerd met de goede organisatie van deze grote conferentie.” (Prof. dr. Heinz Kimmerle, EUR)
“Thank you also for your hard work in bringing off such a diverse, and truly international conference” (Dr. Ann Barrow, York University/Ryerson University, Toronto)
“I want to thank you for the conference---really! one of the best i've ever attended!! this was due not only to the program, but much to your thoughtful efforts and personal touch, which made for a truly hospitable feel of things. there seemed always the desire to talk, to swap ideas. no doubt this generousity of spirit that pervaded the conference had much to do with your warm contributions to the commonwheel. again, thanks!” (Dr. George Smith, Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine)
“The conference was great, much of it due to your initiative and follow-through... Bravo! Bravissimo!” (Dr. Eleanor M. Godway, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain)
“Most importantly, many thanks for a fabulous conference, on every count!” (Dr. Dorota Glowacka, University of King's College, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
“Thanks again” (Prof. dr. Dominique Janicaud, Centre de Recherches d'Histoire des Idées, Nice)
“Thank you again for an excellent conference. Many thanks.” (prof. dr. Willie van der Merwe, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa)
“I really had a great time in the conference” (Dr. Michiko Tsushima, University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Of course, these comments are made on an individual base. But evaluating the conference with both staff members and key contributors all had the impression that most of the debates were lively, intense and fruitful. The intensity and liveliness was also present in the plnenary debates and the close encounters.
As to the concrete steps that have been taken by the separate participants – emerging new networks as result of proposed collaborations and initiatives to organize new symposia and arrange publications – these cannot off course be recorded easily. There is for instance a proposal to organize a seminar on Deleuze next year with English, American, Australian and French scholars. But this initiative is very embryonal. Therefore we restricted ourselves to the definitive proposals that concern stafmembers of the Department of Philosophy of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, who chaired or participated in specific sessions.
Immediate spin-off: Zizek seminar ESSSO
Having so much scholars gathered on one spot, the Department of Philosophy decided to take the opportunity to organize the annual Erasmus Summer Seminar on Social Ontology (ESSSO: see: www.eur.nl/fw/essso) directly after the conference to deepen some of the debates that started during the plenary sessions. This seminar was visited by 70 scholars and a small group of selected students of the Philosophy Department. For three days – 10/11/12 June 2002 – the topic of the inbetween or inter in its ‘global’ context was further debated. (see: enclosed seminar booklet)
1. Publication (book) on Intermedialities
From the most relevant contributions of the conference a book will be made, carrying the (work)title Intermedialities. This publication will not be the acta, but it will be a new publication. The selection and the editing will be done by dr. Henk Oosterling and prof. dr. Ewa Ziarek. Arrangements already have been made with the key note speakers (Irigaray, Nancy, Greenaway, Zizek, Kimmerle, Braidotti, Janicaud) and several other articles will be selected. This book will be published in 2004 in conjunction with the Continuum Books in TEXTURES. Philosophy/Literature/ Culture Series, edited by Hugh J. Silverman. (See for other publications: Conference Book 80-81)
2. ESSSO publication
The Seminar tapes have been transcribed and the texts of the contributors are being compiled. This material will be edited by dr. Henk Oosterling and efforts will be made to start a yearly tradition of these debate seminars for the next 5 years at the EUR to expand the research seminar on Intermediality of the CFK. Prof. dr. Slavoj Zizek already agreed to contribute as did prof. dr. Rosi Braidotti with whom talks have begun in order to collaborate more closely.
Already realized collaboration
Centre de recherche de l’intermédialité/Centre for Research on Intermediality, Montreal (CRI) Coordinator of the CRI dr. Marion Froger visited the conference in order to find out whether collaboration on differend aspects of the topic Intermediality was possible. These talks resulted in the folowing proposals by CRI for collaboration with researchers of the research programme Intermediality:
Organizing a panel in Montreal next autumn with Jean-Luc Nancy, Henk Oosterling and Éric Méchoulan: to emphasize the political side of intermediality. This panel could help us to link the Center for Philosophy & Arts (CFK) and the CRI together and could be a sort of Canadian echo of the Rotterdam Conference.
Video footage and tapes
All plenary debate are video taped. In due time decisions will be made in order to rework this footage.
This conference has been made possible by a grant of the Foundation ‘Vereniging Trustfonds Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam’ in the Netherlands and Netherlands Scientific Research (NWO)
 For the specific titles I refer to the Conference book’s summary of the sessions, pp. 13-17.