Workshop Crisis of Representation II

Initiated by an US-american expert on philosophy of religion, Carl Raschke, the Research Platform RaT organised an international conference entitled „The Crisis of Represtation“ in June 2017. Its issue was to ask whether phenomena of crisis in politics, science, religion and culture can also be seen as symptoms of a crisis concerning structures of representation. As the contributors agreed that this disclosed interesting perspectives, the conference was succeeded by a workshop, “The Crisis of Representation II”.

On March 12 2018, Thomas Schmidt (Goethe Universität Frankfurt), Astrid Mattes (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften), Michael Staudigl (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen) Elisabeth Holzleithner, Sandra Lehmann, Andreas Gelhard and Gerald Posselt (all of them Universität Wien) met members of the Research Platform and interested students in order to discuss the topic profoundly.

Thomas Schmidt gave the inauguration lecture for the workshop and compared two attempts to regard social and political practices as processes of representation, namely those of Paula Diehl and George Batailles.
Michael Staudigl emphasised that Crisis is a necessary moment of rational discourse and therefore intrinsically important for modernity.
Sandra Lehmann developed her thoughts on language and temporality in the context of phenomena of crisis starting from postmodern theories on significance and pursuing them critically.
Referring to the US-american political scientist Hana F. Pitkin, Astrid Mattes discussed the role of representation within political discourses and the problems emerging from a disjunction of the instances of representation from those who should be represented.
Gerald Posselt discussed the question of a language for those who do not have access to forms of representation. In that course, he referred to Franz Kafka, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze und Félix Guattari.
The debate around official habits and facial disguise in public sphere provided the starting point for the lecture of Elisabeth Holzleithner. She analysed this discourse in the context of fundamental jurisprudential discourses.
The workshop was concluded by a lecture by Andreas Gelhard. His philosophical approach to the question of representation was inspired by G.W.F. Hegel, Axel Honneth and Jacques Rancière.

The lectures came along with enriching discussions and will be published in issue 7 of the Journal J-RaT in December 2018 together with the results of the previous congress.