Nikita Dhawan is Junior Professor of Political Science for Gender and Postcolonial Studies in the Cluster of Excellence “Formation of Normative Orders” at Goethe-University Frankfurt. She was visiting scholar at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, University of Melbourne (2013), Program of Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley (2012), University of La Laguna, Tenerife (2012 and 2011), Pusan National University, South Korea (2011), as well as Columbia University (2008). She was Maria Goeppert-Mayer Guest Professor at the Institute of Political Science, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany (2006-2007). Dhawan received her doctorate in philosophy from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany and holds a double MA in German Studies and Philosophy from Mumbai University, India. Her publications include Impossible Speech: On the Politics of Silence and Violence (Academia Verlag, 2007) and Decolonizing Enlightenment: Transnational Justice, Human Rights and Democracy in a Postcolonial World (Verlag Barbara Budrich, ed. 2013).

Sidsel Nelund is an art writer and PhD fellow currently working on the notion of knowledge production in contemporary art. She lives and works in Copenhagen and is invested in collaborations and art projects in Beirut and Santiago de Chile. In her academic and performative writings as well as curatorial projects she addresses concepts and practices in cinema/ sound/ video, collective and critical knowledge production, politics of labour, south-south strategies and the role of the researcher in contemporary art production. Nelund holds a BA in Comparative Literature, an MA in Modern Cultures and an MA in Aural and Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a Mads Øvlisen Scholarship PhD student in Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

On the Politics of Silence and Speech - A workshop and public live radio conversation with Nikita Dhawan conducted by Marwa Arsanios and Sidsel Nelund

If we agree that “what cannot be said, above all must not be silenced,” how do we think critically about the politics of silence and speech? The intrinsic link between speaking and keeping silent in relation to politics, struggle and violence is at the heart of this daylong event consisting of a reading group workshop and a public conversation. We wish to rethink the act of speaking itself, not as a therapeutic or political act in democracy building, but through its affects, as well as philosophical and practical formations.

Public event: A live-streamed conversation moderated by Sidsel Nelund with Nikita Dhawan, unfolding the notions of silence and speech in philosophy, in their practical enactment in everyday life and in the very act of conversing in public. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the event and the conversation begins promptly

Workshop: A one-day reading group with Nikita Dhawan moderated by Sidsel Nelund, tackling questions of speaking and silence and how they have been taken up as political strategies by feminists, writers and activists. How does one speak out loud in public? Who is speaking in public? How can silence be a strategy?