Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

Rewriting the History of Political Thought From the Margins

Veranstaltet von

Research and Teaching Unit Political Theory, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin



In contemporary political theory, there is a widespread commitment to rewrite its history in order to include that which has been marginalized. Yet, while there is agreement on what this history should not look like – a select number of monographs written by and on a handful of white, European men – there is no such consensus as to what it means to rewrite it in such way that it pays more attention to social, cultural, and political agency at its margins. Our conference aims to address this lacuna, and sets up a conversation between the various ways in which scholars are rewriting the history of political thought. With this dialogue between the various subfields of political theory, we hope to overcome institutional, methodological, and thematic divides. This conference is organized around three, mutually compatible conceptions of rewriting the history of political thought from the margins that roughly correspond to three different approaches in political theory: i) the interrogation of key concepts, such as sovereignty, community, and the nation; ii) the inclusion of neglected authors, typically women or non-Western thinkers; iii) the prioritization of concrete political struggles as sites of theory formation. Furthermore, and running through these three conceptions, are methodological questions, especially concerning material (re)sources as well as strategic issues regarding the institutions in which political theory is taught and researched today. This hybrid conference takes place on June 7-9 2023 at Humboldt University of Berlin, and is hosted by the Research and Teaching Unit Political Theory. Attendance is free of charge but please register by June 1, by using the registration form below. Precirculated papers will be distributed late May, and we like to ask attendants to read these in advance.



June 7 11.00‐11.30: Registration 11.30‐12.00: Welcome by the organizers (Ieva Motuzaite, Liesbeth Schoonheim, Jenny Pelletier, Alessandro Mulieri) 12.00‐14.15: Panel 1: Nation and Community Moderator: Simon Clemens • Ayse Su: A Critique of Contractarianism: The Enemy Within and the Ottoman Nation, 1856‐ 1916 • Parth Shrimali: (Post)Colonial histories of the Political: 'Community' in South Asian Political Thought (precirculated paper) • Julia Costa Lópes: Contesting Communities in the African Atlantic 14.15‐14.30: Coffee break 14.30‐16.45: Panel 2: Nation and Empire Moderators: Nadja Spatzl & Simin Jawabreh • Gurminder Bhambra: Misrepresentation and Marginalisation of History within European Political Thought – On Empires, Nations, and Sovereignty (precirculated paper) • Sebastián León, Stephan Gruber: Anti‐Imperialism, Third‐Worldism and the Reinvention of Political Theory: Lessons from Latin America (precirculated paper) • Jeanette Ehrmann: Beyond the Black Jacobins and the Black Sansculottes: Exploring the Margins and the Counter-Archives of the Haitian Revolution 16.45‐17.00: Coffee break 17.00‐18.45: Panel 3: Markers of Modernity Moderator: Jeanette Ehrmann • Ẹniọlá Ànúolúwapọ́ Ṣóyẹmí: Dislocating Rationality: Zar’a Yacob and the Possibility of Reasoned Modernities • Sanjay Seth: Political Theory: The (European) Bourgeois Public Sphere in Miniature   June 8 9.00-9.15: Opening (Alessandro Mulieri) 9.15‐11.00: Panel 4: Authority and Religion Moderator: Marina Solntseva • Tal Correm: Dissident Speech, Silent Injustice, and the Limits of Political Authority • Catarina Belo: Religion and Politics in Alfarabi's The Virtuous City 11.00 ‐11.15: Coffee break 11.15‐13.00: Panel 5: Genre and Gender Moderator: Christian Jacobs • Marguerite Deslauriers: Political Questions in Popular Pro‐Woman Works of the Renaissance • Elias Buchetmann: Tapping Cross‐Cultural (Re)sources: Translations and the History of Political Thought 13.00‐14.00: Lunch break 14.00‐15.45: Panel 6: Republicanism and Its Others Moderator: Jonathan Stahl • Benjamín Gaillard‐Garrido: Simón Rodríguez: Criollo Republicanism in the Age of Capital • Sandrine Bergès: Cornelia’s Comeback: Politics at home in Revolutionary France 15.45-16.15: Coffee break 16.15‐ 18.30: Panel 7: Class and Solidarity I Moderator: Mariana Caldas • Hayley Rose Malouin: The Undesirable Citizen: Poverty and Social Division in Ancient Democratic Athens (online) • Peter King: Christine de Pizan in Women's Solidarity as a Political Force (online) • Megan Gallagher: The Grand Ruin: Prostitution and Class in Wollstonecraft’s Thought (online, precirculated paper) Conference dinner   June 9 9.00-9.15: Opening (Jenny Pelletier) 9.15‐11.00: Panel 8: From Courage to Resistance in Theory Moderator: Danni Gobbi • Bodi Wang: Taking back philosophy's courage to know • Peyman Amiri: Formulating a Native Praxis of Resistance within a Global Struggle 11.00‐11.15: Coffee break 11.15‐13.00 Panel 9: Nature Reconsidered Moderator: Judith Möllhoff • Sophia Hatzisavvidou: On nature as a political concept: Reading Margaret Cavendish amidst a climate emergency • Simon Kleinert: From the margins for the marginalized – Meta Wellmer’s activism for animal rights 13.00‐14.00: Lunch break 14.00‐15.45: Panel 10: Struggles to Move beyond Anthropology Moderator: Hannah Voegele • Andrew Johnson: Fragments of an Abolitionist Anthropology (precirculated paper) • Anthony Bogues: Black Critique ‐ Towards an Alternative History of Political Thought (online) 15.45-16.15: Coffee break 16.15-18.30: Panel 11: Class and Solidarity II Moderator: Daniel Staemmler • Samuel Hayat: Workers’ writings as a source for the history of political thought (precirculated paper) • Nicholas Devlin: Three Obstacles to a Non‐Canonical History of Marxism • Jasmine Corley‐Schulz and Miriam Corley‐Schulz: Force and Freedom: The Warsaw Ghetto’s Paris Commune (online) 18.30‐19.00: Closing Roundtable Moderators: Ieva Motuzaite & Liesbeth Schoonheim


Konzeption und Organisation

Ieva Motuzaite (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Alessandro Mulieri (University of Pennsylvania/Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), Jenny Pelletier (University of Gothenburg), Liesbeth Schoonheim (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) 


Gefördert von

Research and Teaching Unit Political Theory


Semester: Sommersemester 2023

ZtG-Veranstaltungskategorie: Gender-Veranstaltungen der Institute/Fakultäten der HU