Aarhus University Seal

Student Seminar Session

The Centre for Studies in Otherness hosted a Student Seminar evening on the 7th of June, 2011 at Aarhus University.

This session was part of our ongoing seminar series on Otherness and included 30 minute presentations from our student speakers:

Laura Helene Hechmann (Institute for Language, Literature and Culture, AU): You, the Other and dust. Dust as a literary and philosophical symbol

This presentation discussed ethical issues relating to the concept of dust as a literary and philosophical symbol. Focusing on counterpointing concepts such as destruction and character definition, it analysed selected passages from 'The Waste Land' by T.S Eliot and 'The Duchess of Malfi' by John Webster with a view to furthering an ethical theory of our human relationship to the Otherness of death.

Ian Rynne (Institute for Psychology, AU): Synaesthesia, Perception and Otherness

Historically, it was widely considered that the world presents itself to our senses in a uniform way. The implication of this view is that the common phenomenological experience of perception is the correct one. The minority of individuals who reported consistent but unusual sensory experiences and connections (i.e. Synaesthesia) were considered, at worst, to be lunatics and, at best, to be victims of rare and troublesome crossing of the senses. This primarily empirical presentation showed some examples of how the phenomenology of synaesthetic perception can differ from the norm. However, it also demonstrated how it is not nearly rare as previously thought and how it is most likely a constituent part of "normal" perception. The world we see, hear and smell every day is, primarily, a dynamically changing construction, subject greatly to individual difference but constrained by experience. Hopefully we can then discuss what implications this has for basic conceptions of the Same and the Other.