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The Society

The North American Levinas Society was established in 2006 with an inaugural meeting and conference at Purdue University celebrating the centennial of Levinas' birth. This historic meeting brought together Levinas scholars and activists from six continents and at least a dozen different countries. That same year, Levinas' family helped found Société internationale de Recherche Emmanuel Levinas (SIREL). The following year, for our second annual conference in 2007, Levinas' family--Simone (Levinas) Hansel, George Hansel, David Hansel, and Joëlle Hansel--attended NALS for the first time. Since then, NALS and SIREL have enjoyed a rich and edifying relationship as sister societies, and we have since co-organized two conference in Toulouse, France (2010 and 2016). 


Over more than a decade, the NALS has held conferences across the United States, in Canada, and France. Our conferences blend provocative, interdisciplinary plenary presentations with conference panels, book panels, film screenings, receptions with Levinas' family, and an annual pedagogy panel that takes up in creative ways a variety of topics from teaching Levinas in prison to organizing difficult service-learning course work inspired by Levinas' ethical vocation. Perhaps our most enduring legacy as a Society, however, consists in the annual Talmudic reading delivered each year by Levinas' son-in-law, Georges Hansel, which directly extends the tradition of the Talmudic readings Levinas delivered annually before the Colloquium of French Speaking Jewish Intellectuals. 


With SIREL, the North American Levinas Society adopts as its mission a concern for taking up Levinasian scholarship across generations and continents. From the beginning, the NALS was designed to foster mult-generational dialogues between Levinas' earliest exegetes and acquaintances and those who follow in their paths. For our tenth anniversary conference in 2015, we adopted this theme for our meeting: "Levinas across Generations and Continents." Our work as a Society has always aimed for hospitality, inclusivity, and invitation, and we invite you to become a member.


Beyond our NALS conferences, we have also hosted conference panels at the American Academy of Religion and fostered other academic and professional networking. Conversations and friendships forged over the course of eleven years have engendered a number of Society legacies including publications and life-long friendships. The NALS looks forward to another decade of edifying collaboration.


We invite you to explore these pages of our Society website and join the NALS to help us build the most robust Levinas society that we can.

Purdue University
The Neighbor and the Stranger
Toulouse, France
Levinas, the Material, & Ethics
Loyola University Chicago
Levinas, Displacement & Repair
Western Carolina University
Levinas and the Political
Purdue University
Levinas and the Literary
Purdue University
Levinas and the Sacred
Seattle University
Levinas and Philosophy
Tonronto University 
Difficult Freedom
Université Toulouse le Mirail, France
Totality and Infinity at 50
Texas A&M
Levinas, the Environment, and Cultures of Place
University of Alaska Anchorage
Levinas and Interreligious Dialogue
Duquesne University
Law in Proximity: Levinas in Spaces of Justice
Salisbury University
Levinas Across Generations and Continents

View Our 10th Anniversary Poster

2015, Purdue University

[Available for Dowload]

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