SSS Concepts on the Move

Glossary of Terms
Concepts are
- signed and dated (hence, have a history)
- words (archaisms, neologisms, shot through with almost crazy etymological exercises, sketching a philosophical 'taste')
- syntactic (of a language within a language)
- constantly changing
- not given but created

Mieke Bal, Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: A Rough Guide, 2002.

I am interested in creating a repository of SSS concepts on the move together with everyone interested. I understand concepts, with Mieke Bal, as tools of intersubjectivity that enable conversation on the basis of a common language, but aren’t fixed. That is to say that while concepts have hi/stories, they are not restrained by their past meaning(s)/operational value(s), on the contrary, they appear supple, can expand en route in and through multiple exchanges, relations, connections –– becoming again and again as it were. Following this I am not thinking of a theoretical exposé, though one could say that it is doing theory, or an encyclopaedia listing ultimate definitions on which we would all have to agree, rather I envision it as a string of tellings around the concepts in operation during SSS.

As a beginning I was thinking that everyone who’s interested in this endeavour could draw a beginning point for themselves in words and/or images of one or more concepts that is/are important to you, that help you in thinking and talking, i.e. capture for each concept what it means to you now. These beginning points would form the basis for (visual) stories in which every one of us re/assesses the operation, potential expansion, forming of relations and in some cases perhaps fading away of the concept(s) throughout our long week of talking and thinking together. These readings together would become the online polyphonic cluster of what we have been doing to and with concepts.

Finally, everyone is also most welcome to set beginning points of one or more concepts, and their SSS trajectory, throughout the week in Utrecht.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a conversation on/around/with concepts right away, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Petra Ponte