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SUMMER SCHOOL 2022 »TACET AD LIBITUM! TOWARDS A POETICS AND POLITICS OF SILENCE« 24-29 JULY 2022 (Registration deadline: July 1, 2022) (https://silencemuenster.wordpress.com/)

Münster, Germany
Organization: WWU Münster / Graduate School Practices of Literature
Event: https://silencemuenster.wordpress.com/
Categories: Postcolonial, Graduate Conference, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, French, British, German, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2022-07-24 to 2022-07-29 Abstract Due: 2022-07-01

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Silence (tacere or Schweigen) has been considered by Franz Rosenzweig among others as a
subversive act or defiant stance of the tragic hero against overwhelming power mechanisms
of necessity, i.e., totalization and universality. It has also, however, been regarded as an
epiphenomenon (or a result) of marginalization and oppression by postcolonial theorists.
The latters’ understanding marks silence as an end, a potential violent effect of the logics of
exclusion and marginalization by “signifying machines”. The former understanding marks
silence as a means of rendering mechanisms of powers inoperative. Therefore, the
significance of silence appears to oscillate within an aporia of means and ends, singularity
and universality, a-thesiology and thesiology, performance and logos. For the Münster Lectures
and Summer School to be mutually complementary, we want to re-explore these known
aporias from the perspective of silence as a concept which may occasion an ethics, poetics,
and politics of “pure means” or violent ends. Can a logic of silence call for something more
than resignation or defiance, complicity or conformity, and if so, how can the notion of
silence be expanded into the realm of political action, or into new realms with newvoices?
The Summer School will be divided into three sections: Theory, Poetics and Politics. We
do, however, foresee a continuous interaction between the three fields.


The Summer School will open with the Münster Lectures which seek to combine
the merits of theoretical and literary insight of renowned scholars, prominent
writers, and cultural activists to discuss current debates, both scholastic and social.
The Münster Lectures are open to doctoral candidates, post-doc researchers,
humanities students, and the general public. The Münster Lectures aim to
strengthen not only the interdisciplinary exchange among members of the
university, but also bridges the gap between the university and the city of Münster.

Jennifer Kamau from International Women* Space Berlin will share
her story of being a refugee woman in Germany and give a talk on her work as a political
activist. Jennifer Kamau’s talk will be complimented by Urvashi Butalia's talk. Urvashi
Butalia co-founded Kali for Women in 1984 and in 2003, Zubaan, has over 35 years of
experience in feminist and independent publishing. She has been long involved in
the women’s movement in India, and is a well-known writer, both in academia and in the
literary world. These two talks will be followed by a conversation between the
two speakers. The Münster Lectures are free and open to the public.


Panel 1: Theory

The first panel will discuss the concepts of silence (silere and tacere) which revolve around
the paradigms of (a-)representability, (a-)temporality, (a-)historicity, and (a-)teleology.
Under what ideological premises can silence be considered subversive and/or oppressive?
Does the concept of silence require a rethinking of temporality? If silence is understood as
a withdrawal from the sphere of semantics (or meaning), what consequences does this have
on the processes of signification and representation that allow to address injustices? How
does silence remain politically relevant today given its former exclusiveness to the tragic
hero? Would it be possible to rethink the primacy of speaking over silence, or meaning over

Panel 2: Poetics

The second panel focuses on works of art in search of a poetics which transcends the mere
re/presentation of silence. This panel is deeply interested in the various functions that
silence partakes in works of art, which are reflected in the formal/structural/narrative
strategies that it employs. Does silence merely conceal the inappropriable, hinting towards
negativity in language? Does silence function as a residual manifestation of what is sayable,
or does silence hint at the need for a re-understanding of language and signification? Are
there any commonalities between mediality and silence? How does the concept of silence
interact with ideas of genres? If the subject is created by the instance of speech, how does
a work of art give accounts of non-subjects (of silenced subalterns or those who prefer not
to speak)?

Panel 3: Politics

The third panel will interrogate the ethical and political implications of the aforementioned
panels: Does silence lead to new ethical paradigms or does it ask for reactionary political
concepts of tragedy and necessity? Can an adequate understanding of silence articulate
community and commonalities outside the primacy of “thetical” language and positive law,
beyond normative and imperative approaches of community-building based on exclusion
and the interminably marginal? Can silence constitute a bridge towards thinking about postidentity, or does it remain a mode of concealment of injustices and unbridgeable

Student Conference

On July 27, the participants of the summer school will be asked to present their work-inprogress on the topic. The conferences will be divided in three panels: theory, poetics and
politics, which will be moderated by two speakers each.
The call for abstracts is now closed. We are not accepting any paper presentations.
We welcome you to register as a regular participant. (Spaces are limited)

Concluding Remarks

The final day, July 29, will conclude the summer school with a roundtable discussion among
all the participants.


To apply for a participation seat, fill out the registration information on the registration
page of our website: silencemuenster.wordpress.com/registration


The Summer School is open to doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and advanced
MA students working in the humanities of all disciplines of cultural studies, philosophy,
history, literature, political science, sociology, and related fields of research.



Events: Münster Lectures, Summer School 2022: “Tacet ad Libitum! Towards a poetics and politics of silence.”
Dates: 24-29 July 2022
Location: WWU Münster, Germany
Organizers: Hector Feliciano, yashka, Michael Aaron Mason
Language: English
Registration Fee: 100€ (not including accommodation)
Website: silencemuenster.wordpress.com
Twitter: @sigetics
Indico: https://wwuindico.uni-muenster.de/e/silence2022
Contact: Organizational Committee, silence2022@uni-muenster.de



Hector Feliciano, Yashka*, Michael Mason