15 May 2023 12:00 - 14:00 Online


An event organised by the Illuminating Friendship research network.


Kinneret Lahad (Tel Aviv University)


This paper brings into conversation theories of nothingness and stillness through the case study of friendship ties.  Friendships comprise a significant form of sociality mostly considered to be an informal, non- hierarchical and a voluntary way of bonding between peers. However, keeping in touch with friends can be highly irregular and may include long and short periods when there is no or hardly any time spent together. What connects friends during times when friends do not talk or meet? When one’s relationship is at a standstill?  When “nothing” happens? Taking my cue from Susie Scott’s recent study on the social life of nothing and David Bissell’s work on stillness and affective communication; I propose that the affective registers of nothingness should be taken seriously. In fact, nothing as a form of omission and non doing could be a meaningful social action in friendships dynamics. Inspired by this scholarship, I suggest that friendship relations are as much characterized by nothingness, relative stillness as they are by visible movements and tangible practices.

Kinneret Lahad is a Senior Lecturer at the Women and Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University. She had been involved in various prestigious research projects, which merited international attention, praise, and materialized in publications in leading journals. Her book, A Table for One: A Critical Reading of Singlehood, Gender and Time was published by Manchester University Press in 2017. Her current projects include independent and collaborative studies on friendships, aunthood, temporality, intimacy and affects. She is currently writing her next book on friendship temporalities.

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