Mittwoch, 26. Oktober 2011, 18.15 Uhr

Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum HZ3

Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan

Negotiating Normativity: Challenges and Prospects

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Zum Vortrag

Norms emerge historically in specific cultural and political contexts to provide evaluative criteria to critically assess our socio-cultural, legal and economic practices. They are action-guiding and operate as an ideal against which practices and subjects are rendered legible and recognizable within a specific framework. Normative intelligibility is deeply linked to survival, whereby subjects that fall outside hegemonic norms of recognition are vulnerable to normative violence. This indicates the aspirational and orchestrating effects of norms as well as their regulative and coercive dimensions. Normative orders are justified insofar as those subject to them have the possibility of intervening and transforming these orders. The capacity to challenge hegemonic norms presupposes an ability to negotiate one’s relation to norms. A critical engagement with hegemonic framings entails a debate regarding the terms of recognition and contents of normative judgements. This is not a call for undermining all normative claims; rather the emphasis is on the need to devise new constellations of normativity, which would enable subjects struggling for enfranchisement. Normativity is a site of political agency, even as the vulnerability of the subject is closely related to normative regulations. Thus, political contest entails exceeding and reworking hegemonic norms; it rests on negotiating normativity. The talk will address the challenges and prospects in attempting to make possible new claims and articulations of normativity.

Zur Person

altNikita Dhawan is Junior Professor of Political Science with a focus on Gender/Postcolonial Studies and Director of the Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies (FRCPS), Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” at the Goethe-University Frankfurt a.M. She has held short-term Visiting Professorships at University of La Laguna/Spain, University of Kassel, Pusan National University/South Korea, Maria-Goeppert-Mayer Guest Professor at University of Oldenburg In Spring 2008 she was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York. She received her doctorate in Philosophy from Ruhr-University Bochum and holds a double M.A. in German Studies and Philosophy from Mumbai University/India.
Recent publications include: Soziale (Un)Gerechtigkeit: Kritische Perspektiven auf Diversität, Intersektionalität und Anti-Diskriminierung (ed.) (forthcoming), “Hegemony and  Heteronormativity: Rethinking ‘the Political’ in Queer Politics” (ed.) (2011), “Impossible Speech: On the Politics of Silence and Violence” (2007) and “Postkoloniale Theorie: Eine kritische Einführung” (2005).

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