The recent revival of the theme of hospitality in the humanities and social sciences reflects a shared concern with issues of belonging, identity and placement that arises out of the experience of globalized social life. In this context, migration — or spatial dislocation and relocation — is often equated with demands for hospitality. There is a need to engage more carefully with the ‘proximities’ that prompt acts of hospitality and inhospitality; to attend more closely to their spatial and temporal dimensions. Is the stranger or the Other primarily one who is recognisably ‘out of place’? Or is there more to being estranged than moving from one territory to another? This brings us to the question of human finitude, and to the possibility of encounters with others that do not simply only occur in time or space, but are themselves generative of new times and spaces.