How can philosophy, as a practice inevitably bound to language, think and itself perform a counter-hegemonic or resistant speech that goes beyond the “one” language we know? How is it possible to resist the “one” language in language, in speech? Starting from classical rhetorics, Hetzel argues that language should not be understood as a precondition but as a result of speech. He then introduces three rhetorical figures that build on this very assumption and indeed seem to allow a repeated redrawing of the limits of languages: Jacques Derrida’s and Judith Butler’s notion of translation, which triggered the "translational turn" in the thinking of culture and challenges the stability of languages based on their fundamental dependence on a general translatability into other languages; Jacques Rancière’s concept of "seizing the word [prendre la parole]" that insists on the possibility of inventing a paradoxical language of those who are supposedly outside of language but in spite of that seize the word; and Butler’s notion of catachrestic resignification which critically appropriates or recodes a given ascription of identity. Conclusively, Hetzel reasons that all three resistant figures of speech are strongly associated with a Rancièrian notion of “politics” in that they interrupt a given distribution of the sensible and redefine the field of the sayable through their utterances. In this sense, the rhetorical figures that Hetzel describes offer ways how scholarly writing can in and of itself become a resistant and political practice, even while turning to the traditional systems and concepts of reading that are further explored in the third section.
This volume contrasts a number of recently suggested concepts of the political – each of which connects to certain instances of art and literature in its discourse – with questions concerning the rigidity of those connections: How strongly do such claims to politics depend on their specific examples, what is the scope of their validity to understand art with regard to politics, and how can they help us grasp the political within other pieces of art? In each case, manners of thinking concepts of the political, the mutual resistance of such concepts and their academic treatment, and the turn towards specific readings informed by those concepts converge.
The essays collected in “Thinking Resistances. Current Perspectives on Politics, Community, and Art“ engage with political phenomena in their interrelations with arts as well as with recent theoretical and philosophical perspectives on the very meaning of politics, the political, and community.
With contributions by Armen Avanessian, Friedrich Balke, Judith Butler, Simon Critchley, Anneka Esch-van Kan, Josef Früchtl, Andreas Hetzel, Jon McKenzie, Dieter Mersch, Chantal Mouffe, Maria Muhle, Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Stephan Packard, Wim Peeters, Jacques Rancière, Juliane Rebentisch, Gabriel Rockhill, Frank Ruda and Philipp Schulte.