Masterclass Retreat

Gifts of Cooperation

Essen – 22-26 September 2014

The second Masterclass of the Centre, entitled “Gifts of Cooperation”, took place at the UNESCO World Heritage site Zeche Zollverei" from 22 – 26 September 2014.
To give, to accept and to reciprocate - according to Marcel Mauss' famous essay "The Gift", the conjunction of these three activities is the basis of social and cultural life. During five intensive days, participants from more than ten different countries and various disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science and history, discussed the theoretical foundations and implications of the gift paradigm as well as a wide range of empirical case studies. In doing so, they asked which role the logic of the gift plays on the level of global cooperation. Can the gift generate an anti-utilitarian basis for forms of international recognition and solidarity, e.g. in development cooperation, international philanthropy or debt reliefs?

Among the speakers of the Masterclass were Frank Adloff (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Alain Caillé (University of Paris-Nanterre), Dan Lainer-Vos (University of Southern California), Grégoire Mallard (The Graduate Institute Geneva), Elena Pulcini (University of Florence), Anne Rawls (Bentley University), and Ilana Silber (Bar Ilan University).

The Masterclass also featured a lecture with the internationally renowned conceptual artist Jochen Gerz, during which he reported on his experiences with the public art project “The Gift” realized in Le Fresnoy, Dortmund and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Also part of the Masterclass was the public Symposium “The Gift: A Form of Cooperation” / “Die Gabe der Kooperation”, which took place at the Blowerhouse Complex in Duisburg as part of the Ruhrtriennale Festival of the Arts.