On Giving and Hospitality

A series of lectures examining giving, sharing and hospitality in contemporary criticism and culture


Fields of Knowledge
  • Philosophy / Theory
  • Public culture

Organizing Institutions



Aaron Levy, Gregory Flaxman

Opens to public



Kelly Writer's House
University of Pennsylvania


25% Formal - 75% Informal

Slought is pleased to announce "On Giving and Hospitality," a lecture series on altruism and hospitality in contemporary culture and criticism. This series, featuring distinguished theorists, raises questions about the laws, practices, and theories of reciprocity and exchange.

In April 2000, Jim English will present "From Gift to Game: Prizes in Contemporary Culture." English is currently completing An Economy of Prestige, a book on prizes, awards, and the circulation of cultural value. In February 2001, Tracey McNulty will present "Hospitality after the Death of God: Pierre Klossowksi's 'Les lois de l'hospitalite," a lecture exploring social and sexual hierarchies in relation to conversations about hospitality and community. And in October 2001, Juliet Flower MacCannell will speak on "Woman's Way Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Sophie Calle," a lecture organized with the Philadelphia Lacan Study Group. MacCannell will discuss Sophie Calle's work in relation to the culture of sharing.

These dialogues will inform the development of Slought as an institution.

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Jim English received his MA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from Stanford, specializing in modernist and postmodernist literature. His book Comic Transactions: Literature, Humor, and the Politics of Community in Twentieth-Century Britain was published by Cornell in 1994. He is currently completing a book on prizes, awards, and the circulation of cultural value, with a working title of "An Economy of Prestige." He is co-editor, with Lisa Brawley, of Postmodern Culture, an electronic journal distributed by Johns Hopkins University Press. Jim English is currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tracey McNulty is Assistant Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell. She has published essays on Jacques Lacan, Pierre Klossowski, and the Hebrew Bible and is currently completing a manuscript entitled The Hostess, My Neighbor, on hospitality and the critique of metaphysics.

Juliet Flower MacCannell is Professor emerita of Comparative Literature at UC Irvine where she has taught in the Critical theory program and headed the research program on Woman and the Image. Her books are Figuring Lacan (1986); The Regime of the Brother (1991); and The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject (2000). Most recently, she has been visiting professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley and French and Italian at Stanford University, Visiting scholar at the Lacan School, and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at the Center for Psychological Studies in Berkeley.