Seminar: "Transnational Literacy and Planetary Ethics in a Global Age" by Prof. Nikita Dhawan, University of Gießen
The past decades have been ones of unprecedented gains with the widespread integration of gender studies into the academic curricula, which has been celebrated as an effective political tool for overcoming the hetero-sexist bias in our socio-political structures. However, a fundamental ambiguity informs contemporary feminist scholarship: Even as it offers a corrective to conventional Western (and non-Western) male-stream and main-stream epistemologies, feminist theory and politics itself has been critiqued as imperialist for reflecting the perspectives of privileged white, heterosexual, bourgeois, Christian women, whose gender-based analyses overlooks other important factors such as race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality and able-bodiedness. The task of forging postimperial feminist philosophy requires the reconsideration of our understanding of the discipline. In addition to being trans- and interdisciplinary, we also need to be anti-disciplinary, in that we question the criteria of what qualifies as philosophy. This would involve exposing the assumptions and violent exclusions implicit in its disciplinary practices. Without these reconfigurations, it is impossible for non-normative epistemic and ethical practices and experiences to be legible and intelligible. The talk will address the challenges facing feminist philosophy and ethics in a global age.
Nikita Dhawan is Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Gießen, Germany. Her publications include: Impossible Speech: On the Politics of Silence and Violence (2007); Decolonizing Enlightenment: Transnational Justice, Human Rights and Democracy in a Postcolonial World (ed., 2014); Global Justice and Desire: Queering Economy (co-ed., 2015); Negotiating Normativity: Postcolonial Appropriations, Contestations and Transformations (co-ed., 2016); Difference that makes no Difference: The Non- Performativity of Intersectionality and Diversity (ed., 2017) and Reimagining the State: Theoretical Challenges and Transformative Possibilities (co-ed., 2019). She received the K?the Leichter Award in 2017 for outstanding achievements in the pursuit of women?s and gender studies and in support of the women?s movement and the achievement of gender equality.