Summer School 2022:

A five-day academic event with public lectures by distinguished guests and graduate student conference presentations

Organized by the Sigetics Organizational Committee, a group of PhD Candidates from WWU Münster Graduate School "Practices of Literature"

What role does silence play in the maintenance of power? How can silence be utilized as an act of defiance?

The Summer School 2022 will be a meeting place to workshop ideas about silence, its poetics, politics, and theoretics.

Summer School 2022
© Michael Aaaron Mason

We are excited to welcome all of our guest speakers: Urvashi Butalia (Zubaan Books), Jennifer Kamau (IWS Berlin), William Watkin (Brunel University), Alexander Düttmann (Berlin UDK), Eva Geulen (ZFL Berlin), Adam Kotsko (North Central College), and Peter De Graeve (University of Leuven). More information on our guest speakers can be found on our "Speakers page".

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 new voices? The Summer School will be divided into three sections: Theory, Poetics and Politics. We do, however, foresee a continuous interaction between the three fields.

We, the organizational committee, are pleased that this event is finally happening after two years of delays due to Covid-19. You can find more information about us here on our "Organizational page".

We are very pleased to have established working partnerships and sponsors for our project. These include: the Büro für Gleichstellung, the International Office, WWU Münster's Universitätsgesellschaft, and Lehrstuhl Prof. Mark Stein.