“Levinas, the Environment, and Cultures of Place”
…[E]arth, sea, light, city. Every relation or possession is situated within the non-possessable which envelops or contains without being able to be contained or enveloped. We shall call it the elemental…. The element has no forms containing it; it is content without form. Or rather it has but a side [face]: the surface of the sea and of the field, the edge of the wind…. “Nothing ends, nothing begins.” [. . .] Hence we can say that the element comes to us from nowhere…. It is wind, earth, sea, sky, air.
~Levinas, Totality and Infinity
The North American Levinas Society is excited to announce that our seventh annual meeting and conference will take place May 13-15, 2012 in beautiful downtown Anchorage, Alaska.
Our 2012 conference hopes to take advantage of the distinctive environmental and cultural opportunities unique to Alaska in order to open our readings of Levinas’ work to a number of difficult questions and challenges. “Alaska”—derived from the Aleut word, alaxsxaq, meaning “the Great Land”—is a land of unparalleled beauty, and while its very name often conjures wilderness images of sublime geological landscapes and rich ecological diversity, it is a land marked also by complicated histories—of rich indigenous cultures, brutal colonialism, devastating militarism, mercantilism, and frontierism.