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TBLR and ESSCS Announcement:

"Living Together"

PhD-researcher training course in literary, aesthetic and cultural-study disciplines, Bergen (Norway), 14th–18th August 2017

The TBLR and the ESSCS

are happy to announce our unique joint-venture PhD researcher-training summer course 2017 in Bergen.

Barthes, with Agamben and Derrida: ”Living Together” is the tandem venture of the European Summer School in Cultural Studies (ESSCS) and the Norwegian nationwide researcher-training school TBLR (Tekst Bilde Lyd Rom = Text Image Sound Space), in Bergen, August 2017. While not an organiser, yet pivotal as an advisory and cooperative space for thought, the Living Together Research Group at the University of Oslo (UiO) is also an event contributor, whose inventiveness, scholarly generosity, input, and productive feedback the TBLR/ESSCS could not have done without. (See also ”Background” and "LT-Group-UiO" in red topbar.)

Under the heading ”Living Together”, the summer course is anchored in Roland Barthes' 1976-1977 lecture series “Comment vivre ensemble? – Sur l’idiorrythmie”, held at Collège de France. The Comment vivre ensemble manuscripts (Paris: Seuil, 2002) were published in English in 2013 as How To Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Here, 'Barthes focuses on the concept of “idiorrhythmy”, a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. He explores this phenomenon through five texts that represent different living spaces and their associated ways of life: Émile Zola’s Pot-Bouille, set in a Parisian apartment building [l’immeuble bourgeois]; Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, which takes place in a sanatorium [le grand hôtel]; André Gide’s “La Séquestrée de Poitiers” [“The Confined Woman of Poitiers”], based on the true story of a woman confined to her bedroom [la chambre solitaire]; Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, about a castaway on a remote island [le repaire; lair; den; hideout], and Pallidius’s Lausiac History, detailing the ascetic lives of the desert fathers [le désert]’ (Columbia UP; brackets added).

For its purposes, and shared for the event with TBLR/ESSCS, the UiO's Living Together Research Group has developed and transformed Barthes’ five spaces into topoi and/or perspectives that call for closer investigation in many specific directions, as the proposed list of related issues and extrapolated concepts in the Call for Papers shows. These five topoi are the desert, the island, the sanatorium, the city, and the home. They will function as part of the scholarly framework for organising the activities of the TBLR and the ESSCS in Bergen. Hopefully, they will prove to be suggestive and inspirational both for PhD students and keynotes in their studies of literature, film, the arts, and culture, as well as in critical thought.

At the same time, Barthes' idiorrhythmic mappings reverberate productively with thinking and analyses in some of Giorgio Agamben's works, as well as with a series of texts stemming from the late period of the work of Jacques Derrida. Including also these as another part of the scholarly framework for the summer course, will hopefully prepare the stage for a variegated plethora of options and possibilities for PhD students and faculty to reflect upon their own work and on that of others, and to think, work out and productively share – in keynote lectures and PhD-student papers – their own takes on aspects of living together.

Under the heading ”Living Together”, then, the summer course's Call for Papers is oriented towards some of the work of Roland Barthes, Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida. – We encourage you to reflect upon the CfP and to relate it to your own work, and we invite you to apply for a participant's spot in Bergen in August. (Application deadline has been extended to May 26th; see all details below and in the Call for Papers.)

--> Call for Papers

COURSE LAYOUT: We start the summer course with luncheon at 13:00 on Monday 14th Aug., then go on with a half-day (afternoon and early evening) programme that day; and then continue with full-day programmes both Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 17th Aug. Festive dinner offered on Thursday evening (on the organisers). Good-byes and departures after breakfast and before noon on Friday 18th.

PROGRAMME: “Living Together” is a combined keynote topic/plenary-discussion event, and a PhD paper-discussion course. We will have four Scandinavian and otherwise international and overseas keynotes on the programme, whose names and topics will be disseminated on the webiste as confirmations are in. - Finally (now late July), we are happy to announce all four of our keynotes: Knut Stene-Johansen (Comparative Literature, University of Oslo), with whom the scholarly idea about “Living Together” originated, and who – with his Oslo-based research group – has already published a first project anthology: Knut Stene-Johansen et al. (eds.): Å leve sammen. Roland Barthes, individet og fellesskapet. Oslo: Spartacus, 2016 (to be transl. into and publ. also in English). Further: Mél Hogan (Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary, Canada). Moreover: Henrik Gustafsson, and here (Film, Visual Culture, Critical Aesthetics, "Nomadikon", Fine Arts, Cultural Memory, Border Poetics). And finally, our 4th confirmed keynote is Corina Stan and here (Comp.Lit, Duke University, USA). – For the PhD paper-discussion sessions, the participants will be organised into two relevant thematic groups, composed of PhD students as well as of TBLR/ESSCS-faculty and keynotes. – The course's working language will be English. The detailed programme is now (Aug.) posted and disseminated as fully confirmed.

TIME FRAMES/DURATION/LENGTH: Keynotes are set up with 45-minute lectures, and the same amount of time allotted to the ensuing discussion. – PhD student-paper discussions are set up with a total time frame of 1 to 1,5 hours for each single one, in the course of which time up to 20 introductory minutes are allotted to the PhD student’s oral presentation/contextualisation of her/his paper, and the remaining time to a rich discussion between the PhD-student author, student peers, TBLR/ESSCS faculty, and keynotes, with comments, questions, further suggestions, etc. This structure – while all student papers are mandatory, beforehand reading for all participants, thus leaving ample time for discussion of the papers.

PhD STUDENT-PAPER TOPICS: (1) a paper bearing a relation to some aspect or problem detailed or suggested in the ”Living Together” Call for Papers (Barthes; Agamben; and/or Derrida); (2) a paper stemming from the PhD student’s ongoing dissertation work, like a chapter, a section, an excerpt, a focus on a special problem, theoretical or other, lifted out of the dissertation-writing process for particular, critical attention, etc. – all of which with or without a relation to the CfP; (3) a paper presenting and critically discussing one or more of the works on the course’s reading list. – Bear in mind that inter-aesthetic and comparative as well as disciplinary papers are welcome. – Max length of paper: about 15 pp, 1,5 line spacing, Word: Times New Roman.

CREDITS – ECTS points for PhD students: 5 ECTS with a paper; 2 ECTS without.

VENUE: Venue for the course as well as for all participants’ hotel rooms 14th-18th Aug. will be Hotel Scandic Neptun, downtown Bergen, one street removed from the historic wharf and the quayside. The hotel rooms (covered by the organisers throughout the duration of the summer-course), will be spacious double rooms, housing two PhD students in each (summer-school room-mate system, which also creates an extra and contact-facilitating atmosphere).

TRAVEL COSTS; MEALS: Travel costs will have to be covered by the PhD students themselves or through the PhD-trajectory means that they themselves have at their disposal. Other than that, hotel rooms and full board (three meals a day) from Monday 14th at noon through Friday 18th Aug. at noon will be covered by the TBLR/ESSCS (the dinner on Wednesday is the exception: Wed’s dinner is open for each and every one to find another restaurant in the city, and on that particular evening pay their dinner themselves). Participants from Bergen are expected to remain accommodated privately, yet take part in all meals on a par with the other participants.

APPLICATION DEADLINE (extended till late May) will be 26th May 2017 (to, with max. 300 words paper abstract submitted at the same time. In your application, please state whether you require vegetarian or vegan meals. –– Paper-submission deadline: 1st August 2017 (as attachment, to

EXTENDED STAYS: There is the option for visitors to Bergen to stay longer than the duration of the summer course (Monday till Friday), yet then, expressly, at their own personal expense. This might e.g. be during the week-end prior to, or during the week-end immediately following the “Living Together”-event. In case you might wish to extend your stay at our venue hotel, (the Scandic Neptun), queries should be directed to, who has been asked to handle them vis-à-vis the Scandic Neptun. – Private or tourist sojourns before and/or after the summer course with other accommodation than the Scandic Neptun, should be both arranged and paid for by the individual course participant her/himself.


Latest news (by 7th Oct. 2017)

Check back frequently for updates

  • 29th September:
    Attested COURSE DIPLOMA with ECTS CERTIFICATE of credits earned (Norw. 'studiepoeng') has – in accordance with plenary agreement – been shipped individually per e-mail to the participating PhD students, postdocs, and to the parttaking Teaching Lecturers/M.A.s in their capacity as imminent PhD-scholarship holders or current PhD-scholarship applicants. All participants were found to have fulfilled the pre-announced, set scholarly standards and requirements of the TBLR and the ESSCS for event-delivery attendance, academic activity and scholarly-productive, contributive comportment. Yet the forwarded individual Diplomas diversify between 5 credits bestowed upon course-participants with a pre-submitted written paper for presentation and group-work discussion, and 2 credits for course-participants without a pre-submitted written paper – all in keeping with "Living Together"s original announcement and CfP. – Congratulations to each and every one! – (Snail-mail shipment proved unnecessary.)

  • 29th August:

    FAREWELL PHOTO of late 17th Aug. posted
    (second version posted in bottom carousel, Bergen-photo bar); / / / / / – Further:

    -- Thank you all, cordially, PhD students and attending faculty, for wonderful, productive and rewarding PhD researcher-training summerschool days at Hotel Scandic Neptun, downtown Bergen 14th-18th August 2017! (Our thanks also include our 3 hrs 'living-and-boating-together' during our fabulous catamaran excursion on Monday afternoon/evening, with light food and drinks, through the Bergen archipelago and to Norwegian composer and world-wide concert-violinist virtuoso Ole Bull's home (1810-1880) at his island Lysøen; he was Edvard Grieg's in all senses exquisite mentor; and at Lysøen we even had professional museum-venue guides (stemming from the Section for History of Arts, LLE/UiB) and a lecture to learn something new from!)

    Continue Reading; further details (linked pdf)... »

  • 29th August:
    Secure, on beforehand-submitted paper catalogue has been deleted from password-protected area. – Signed diplomas of attendance and with confirmations of ECTS credits earned will be sent to PhD students and PhD applicants per e-mail shortly (possibly per snail mail).

  • 29th August:
    Amani Maihoub has kindly shared with us the Call for Papers for the event Alterity and the Research Imagination Conference that she is organising with a colleague of hers in Lisbon in January next year (2018).
    Here are the links needed:

  • 12th August:
    A newer version of Hawlina's paper has been made available and has been posted; use the present version.

  • 11th August:
    Archipelago of Bergen
    where we'll go exploring onboard MS "Rygerkatt" on a boat-trip Monday at 16:00 (before dinner), also visiting the island Lysøen and its summer villa of world famous violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810–1880). – We'll bring light food, and there are drinks. (You might wish to bring a light sweater.)

  • 11th August:
    Roommate and Attendance/Sojourns Overview

    has been posted.

  • 10th August:
    Overall event PROGRAMME has been posted (click "Programme" in grey topbar above. See minor adjustment for Dinner on Wednesday).
    All papers are now in (24 in all). – Due to some attrition, "The Enrolled", "Att. Faculty" and "Papers" have been updated (grey topbar above).

  • 7th August:

    All submitted PhD-student PAPERS have now been posted as individual pdf-files in a secure, username- and password-protected catalogue, developed in co-operation with UiB's IT-dept. Username and password will be sent to you per e-mail. NB: Do not share neither Papers nor username and password with anybody else. NB: When you access the Papers catalogue, make sure you do this from your own computer(s)/device(s) (and not from, say, an internet café). Follow security-hygiene instructions that we have posted for you (after you have clicked on Papers). You access the secure Papers catalogue by clicking PAPERS in grey topbar above. When accessing the Papers, you will also find the paper-groups setup as well as the paper-group sessions and their placements in the overall Programme day by day. Print out the papers one by one (all of them, or the ones you need most). – Happy on-beforehand reading!

  • 6th August:

    We are happy to announce our fourth and final keynote confirmation, which we have in today: Corina Stan, and here. Previously confirmed: Knut Stene-Johansen; Mél Hogan; and Henrik Gustafsson, and here.

  • 5th August:
    We are happy to announce that univ. lecturer, M.A. Emma Helene Heggdal (PhD-applicant; Comp. Lit., UiB) has joined our team as organising-faculty Secretary.

  • 4th June:
    Attending & Working Faculty

    Overwiew of Faculty has been posted. Also see bar above.

  • 4th June:
    Abstracts pdf updated

    Pdf with submitted abstracts is updated. Also see bar above.

  • 3rd June:

    Keynote confirmation in: Henrik Gustafsson, and here. Previously confirmed: Knut Stene-Johansen; Mél Hogan. Further keynote confirmations to appear shortly.

  • 3rd June:
    List of the enrolled posted

    Comprehensive list (pdf) of enrolled PhD students has been posted. Also see bar above.

  • 2nd June:
    Enrolled applicants

    All enrolled applicants have been notified per e-mail.

  • 1st June:
    Abstracts in

    Submitted and enrolled PhD-students' abstracts are in; a rich variety. Also see bar above. – Nota Bene: Enrolled PhD-students' actually submitted papers by 1st August will be posted for event participants exclusively by way of password-protected link; more info later.

  • 28th May:
    Application window closed

    The announced event's application window is now closed (deadline 26th May). "Living Together" Aug. 14th–18th in Bergen presently has a "full house", and at that, a rich one. For the time being, see Abstracts, also posted in bar above.

  • 27th May:

    Keynote confirmations in: Knut Stene-Johansen; Mél Hogan. – Other confirmations shortly; search-communicating with established scholar-contacts to further resonate with submitted and enrolled abstracts best possibly.

  • 21st May:
    Presentation of UiO-based LT-research group

    Self-presentation of collaborating UiO research group "Living Together" posted in red topbar

  • 15th May:
    Use Appl. Form

    Make sure to attach a completed Application Form to your e-mail (topbar; right) when applying for a participant's spot.

  • 13th May:
    Updated CfP has been posted

    Opening paragraphs better sorted. Use updated version.

  • Update on ...

    For prospective later use

    Continue Reading »