Defining and Re-fining Research Questions – University of Copenhagen

Defining and Re-fining Research Questions

PhD Seminar. 2,1 ECTS.

We will continue the seminars on collecting/producing material, defining material(s) in relation to your over-all research questions, combining methods in relation to different kinds of material.

Our guest this time is Dr David Henig, University of Kent.

David Henig will give a lecture in the morning with space for Q&A:s and we will continue in the afternoon with short oral presentations by the PhD candidates and comments from David Henig, Andreas Bandak and the participants.

10.30-12.00 room 10.3.28 :

Public lecture by Dr David Henig, 

Beyond tolerance: Navigating the landscapes of beneficence in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

13.00-16.30, room 10.2.05:

Seminar led by Dr David Henig and Associate Professor Andreas Bandak

Presentations by the PhD fellows on issues about the identification and handling of thesis material(s), methodological and theoretical implications or, for that matter, any other material-related topic you find relevant.

(oral presentations of max. 15 min. plus comments and discussion).

Please sign up for a presentation not later than Monday 5 March to and and add a short presentation of your PhD project.


David Henig,University of Kent,

Beyond tolerance: Navigating the landscapes of beneficence in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina

The discourse on tolerance has framed many debates on Christianity-Islam relations in the post-imperial borderlands of southeast Europe, past and present. The tolerance discourse, however is a discourse with teeth. It is often employed as a self-explanatory proxy for attending to forms of religious coexistence, and thus reinforces preexisting fixed positions revolving around irreconcilable religious binaries. Drawing on my research on the landscapes of beneficence in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the numbers of soup kitchens and ‘empty bellies’ have been mushrooming since the end of the war (1992-1995), I ask: how could social intimacies and encounters within such a landscape be attended to without falling into the discursive trap of tolerance?

Following recent work on the ‘ethics of immediacy’ (Mittermaier 2014) this paper focuses on the grassroots moral vocabularies and practices regarding ethical traditions that influence the way that problems of social injustice, redistribution, and care, ‘here and now’ are imagined and addressed. I offer a case study of a Franciscan soup kitchen situated in a religiously ‘mixed’ town that feeds anyone who is hungry, living precariously, and relying in turn on the generosity of those able to give. This case study of the ethics of immediacy as an actually existing form and practice of attending to ‘those in front of us, those around us’ offers a fruitful way of exploring the grassroots forms of political imaginations and social intimacies that bypasses the trap of the tolerance discourse.