The Ethical Drama of Encountering the Other

The seminar will be hosted by ETHER (Ethics and Aesthetics for Encountering the Other) a global research network of members working across academic, arts and public sectors.

Event abstract

The idea that sense and sense making are deeply intertwined has been at the forefront of significant shifts in conceptualising encounters in linguistics, arts and philosophy. When people with apparent differences interact with one another in ‘contact zones’, they turn toward the other by deploying rich communicative repertoires which rely not only on speech but on the body as a fundamental resource for meaning making (Blackledge & Creese, 2018). They perform the drama of encountering the other. When audiences are moved by a play, they are responding to “an almost ethical demand…to forge attachments with all the intensities and sensations that emerge in performance” (Einarsson, 2017, p. 4).

Philosophers have argued that the ethics of relating to the other can be approached not as just philosophy or moral philosophy, but as drama: a pre-reflective way of relating that is at once deeply spiritual and phenomenologically experienced through the body (Critchley, 2015).

This seminar will engage with these theoretical intersections and propose methodological principles for connecting the discursive, phenomenological and performative dimensions of embodied encounters in research.

Provocations: Elisabetta AdamiMohasin Ahmed; Nadra Assaf, Adrian Blackledge and Angela CreeseGail Boldt and Joseph ValenteKate FellowsNadine A Jassat; Nigel RapportRae Si’ilataQuentin Williams

Keynote: Charlotta Palmstierna Einarsson, MID Sweden University

Creative Lab led by Artist in Residence: Rosie Kay (choreographer, Birmingham)

Conversation led by Mohasin AhmedAdrian BlackledgeNigel Rapport (University of Stirling)

Project website:

Joining details

The seminar will be held on Zoom across two days:

  • Seminar Day One:  Tuesday 14 September, 2021 from 9:30am to 15:30pm (BST)
  • Seminar Day Two: Wednesday 15 September, 2021 from 11:00am to 14:45pm (BST)

Register in advance for this seminar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.