13 SES 04 A, Hospitality, Method of Discussion, and Research Methodologies
In European philosophy, hospitality has been theorized from diverse epistemological standpoints: from a focus on commercial endeavors through Enlightenment moral obligations and postcolonial encounters with the Other. This paper first summarizes previous philosophical treatments of hospitality, and explores the relationships among various framings of hospitality including ethical, religious, postcolonial, and New Materialist. Finally, the paper invites dimensions of scale to the frames as a strategy to diversify perspectives and enhance appreciation for more inclusive theories of hospitality. In the current context of immigration and refugee displacement, the purpose of this paper is heuretic: to create inclusive language for generating conversations in educational research about hospitality across diverse cultural contexts.
Consistently across research literature, hospitality is not associated with legalism, rationality, or economics (Roswell, 2001). Instead, hospitality operates as an ethic, susceptive to examination and critique through ethical lenses. Ruitenberg (2015), for example, theorizes education as "the process of introducing newcomers to the world." Specifically, Ruitenberg takes the stance that ''Education guided by an ethic of hospitality does not aim to cultivate any particular type of moral subject.... Instead, an ethic of hospitality calls on individuals to make space for the other where they dwell" (p.48). Hospitality takes place at the ethical heart of philosophy of educational research.
Summaries of Frames
The first part of this paper maps different frames in current research theorizing hospitality. Some philosophical treatments of hospitality begin with examples from Homer's Odyssey, but most begin with a discussion of Kant's (1795) Perpetual Peace: "The law of world citizenship is to be united to conditions of universal hospitality" (p.11).
After Kant, philosophical research on hospitality usually takes up Derrida's (2000) interview [De l'hospitalite] with Dufourmantelle (2011). In Derrida's theoretical hands, hospitality deconstructs as both possible and impossible: "The perversion and pervertibility of this law...of hospitality...is that one can become virtually xenophobic in order to protect or claim to protect one's own hospitality, the own home that makes possible one's own hospitality" (p.53). Crichley (1999) extends the deconstructive frame by welcoming Levinas (1969) to the conversation: "Derrida rightly argues that Levinas's Totality and Infinity can be read as 'an immense treatise on hospitality', where ethics is defined as a welcome to the other, as an unconditional hospitality" (p.274).
Postcolonial frames analyse two particular relations of power in hospitality, specifically regarding others as strangers, and the socioeconomic privilege of having the wherewithal to offer hospitality in the first place (Claviez, 2013; Gautier, 2007; Rosello, 2001; Nikiforova 2016; Ben Jelloun, 1999).
Haswell and Haswell (2015) consider literacy and writing as acts of hospitality: "Hospitality is a social and ethical relationship not only between host and guest but also between writer and reader or teacher and student. Hospitality initiates acts of authoring,....As an ageless social custom that eases two strangers into deep conversation, hospitality is the necessary companionable gesture to every genuine act of literacy" (Haswell & Haswell, 2015, p. 3).
New Materialist frames of hospitality invite us to consider sensual dimensions of hospitality. For example, Zembylas (2009) considers affect in an analysis of hospitality in Cyprus; Mathieu (2017) appreciates capaciousness in hospitality.
Conclusion: Inviting Scale into the Frame
Candea (2012) explicitly addresses the issue of scale as pertinent to the theorization of hospitality: "Hospitality as a social practice is grounded in specific objects, sites, and boundaries--houses, thresholds, coffeepots, televisions, tables, and chairs--and its form is thus profoundly modified by attempts to scale it up" (p.S44). The paper concludes by suggesting that dimensions of scale, in relation to frames, may serve as mechanisms for welcoming and including diverse perspectives.
A broad range of philosophical literature provide resources for this paper. Religious frames connect hospitality in education to Freire's dialogical teaching where both parties learn something in the encounter. Religious frames for hospitality often appeal to universal moral commitments to caring for the Other (Pohl, 1999; Jacobs, 2018). Ethico-Political frames: Among other considerations, Mecksroth (2017) argues that most commentators have misinterpreted the conditions of Kant's concept of hospitality, and argues instead that Kant's hospitality is a "comprehensive alternative to a global state of war" (p.3). Doukhan (2010) emphasizes the importance of the concept of "exile" to Levinas' philosophy of hospitality. Still (2012) analyses harems and adoption as examples of Enlightenment hospitality. A prominent theme across Kantian/Derridean/Levinasian frames is the distinction between "radical hospitality" and "conditional hospitality" (Boothroyd, 2013; Gani, 2017). Aristarkhova (2012) and McNulty (2006) highlight gendered dimensions of hospitality, calling our attention to the maternal provisions of hospitable conditions to welcome visitors. Ethico-political analyses often debate the problems of assimilation and inequality that might be signaled in theorizations of hospitality. Postcolonial frames consider hospitality in relation to the complicated role of global wealth distribution (Rosello, 2001; Yural-Davis, 2011). Ben Jelloun (1999) argues that any lack of hospitality can be attributed to relatively wealthy industrialized countries' unwillingness because hospitality does not fit easily into a neoliberal-productivity efficiency lifestyle: "Hospitality has gradually given way to cold calculation" (p.38). Literary frame: Alluding to a poem by Roethke, Haswell and Haswell (2015) write: "Hospitality can start taking place where hand is shaken, greeting exchanged, book opened, syllabus handed out, tutor space broached—any place or time where knock is open wide" (p.6). Davis (2001) sees the Writing Center as a site of hospitality for inclusion of the other in literary activity. New Materialist frame: Candea (2012) highlights material dimensions of hospitality: "concrete objects and situations of interpersonal hospitality (a door to knock on, a threshold to cross) are precisely what enables actual hosts and guests to distinguish in each concrete instance 'welcome' from 'trespass' (p.S44). Nikiforova (2016) draws on Derrida and New Materialism to examine European borders conditions. Haswell & Haswell (2015) conclude: "The attributes of traditional hospitality are not balancing the ledger, evening the social score, or harvesting souls. They are goodwill, generosity, welcome, opening to the other, trust, mutual respect, privacy, talk, ease, gift exchange, elbow room, risk, marginality, social retreat, and embrace of change" (p.6).
Some philosophical approaches treat diverse theoretical frames in oppositional terms, promoting the benefits of one theoretical frame over others. However, a more hospitable approach to epistemological diversity would be to examine how various different frames may fit comfortably at different scales of analysis. For example, a large-scale generalizable research design may fit well for analysis at global levels, but not as well for local, neighborhood, family, or personal relationships. Similarly, small, unique case-studies may be amenable to New Materialist frames, but not for research designed to analyse national policy. Singularity is often discouraged in educational research, and educational research includes many examples of inappropriate generalizations from case studies. Nevertheless, Haswell & Haswell (2015) helpfully describe how a singular text can be educationally generative without being generalizable: "at any moment any writer has the potential to produce singular text. As the singular reader receives the singular text offered by the singular writer, potentiality will actualize" (p.5). When we invite scale into the frame, it is not necessary to evaluate various analytical frames in competing terms of Us and Them. Rather, we may imagine a heterotopia of epistemological positions on hospitality in research designs and still maintain a basis for methodological critique and evaluation. Finally, by inviting scale into the frame, we are provided with accommodation for considering social media and virtual connections as potential sites for hospitality. We we are welcome to consider academic conferences as sites of hospitality for educational research and we are invited to examine research methodologies in terms of hospitality: "an act of generosity and charity, yes, but…also an act of courage, transgression, disruption, resistance, or rebellion. And it is always a site for learning. One essential motivation for genuine hospitality...is gaining new experience and new knowledge." (Haswell & Haswell, 2015, p.6)
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