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Transcript from The Session: Blood and Theory

May 15, 2002
4:45-6:15 MDT

Kairos version

The Learning Moment: Blood and Theory in the Meeting of Minds

Inside every learning moment is a conversation, a hopeful outlook, an ecology of understanding. In that very moment also lies the possibility of misinterpretation, an unfortunate oversight, a misunderstanding.

Jacques Lacan and others have demonstrated that the nature of language insists that words constitute and divide us.
This constitutive/divisive relationship manifests itself in any attempt at true dialogue in physical spaces: the teacher instructs 30 students, only to find that half of those students will not comprehend her instruction and are too timid to admit it; a student poses a question, whereby the instructor attempts to answer in several ways but finds himself frustrated when, throughout the course of deliberation, he cannot answer the student’s question.


In thinking about what mitigates against true dialogue, one might propose an alternative approach, asking the following questions:

  • What happens when those physical spaces are pervaded by additional lines of dialogue?
  • How might dialogue proceed when the lines of communication issuing forth from virtual spaces weave in and out of the physical ones?
  • Can increasing the complexity of the conversational situation increase the chance of conversationalists experiencing a hopeful outlook?


We propose that intersecting multiple lines of communication create the possibility for truth, friendship, and more specifically, a friendship of truth. By way of exercising a professional faith, the instructor resigns herself to initiating wayward flights of conversations and trajectories that emanate from lonely silence in an attempt to recuperate common ground; s/he creates an environment richer in its ecology of understanding. What is at stake on this topos, then, is the reconciliation of blood and theory (otherwise known as theory and praxis), whose collapse necessitates a friendship of truth. Hence, not only must the instructor have faith in dialogue, she also must have faith in theory.

Harun Karim Thomas and Temi Rose

Instructions for logging onto tkmoo for the C&W 2002 conference presentation

More Moo links

Get some inspiration here

Temi's paper for the conference: Psycho Somatics or a Long Night of Ecological Understanding

Temi's revised paper for Kairos

Harun's paper for the conference: A Hopeful Outlook: Shadows in the Sun

Harun's Website

Temi's Website

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