NIKITA DHAWANThe Subaltern and the Intellectual:Ethico-Political Imperatives
One of the most challenging questions for critical social and political theory is: Why do nonhegemonic groups consent to their own subjugation and accept their disenfranchisement as inevitable? Dhawan’s contribution will focus on how the construction of international civil society actors as “givers” and the subalterns as “receivers” of help and solidarity results in the transnational elites monopolizing agency and emerging as ethical subjects in the name of doing good. Desubalternization, Dhawan argues, requires a global redistribution of intellectual labour, so that the discontinuity between the subaltern and the intellectual may be undone.
Nikita Dhawan is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Research Platform Gender Studies: “Identities – Discourses – Transformations” at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Her monograph Impossible Speech: On the Politics of Silence and Violence (2007) explores the philosophy and politics of silence from a transcultural perspective. Among others, she is also editor of Decolonizing Enlightenment: Transnational Justice, Human Rights and Democracy in a Postcolonial World (2014) and Difference that makes no Difference: The Non-Performativity of Intersectionality and Diversity (2017).