Recitals: Foundations, Fictions and Translations

special session or the political humanities

November 13, at 18:00

Discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict: a challenge for the political humanities   
The discussion on the current conflict between Israel and Hamas and its moral, political and legal dimensions has become global throughout academia. Universities, websites and newspapers have widely published and disseminated various texts such as position papers, letters and petitions. The goal of our first special session is to examine some of the arguments that have been put forward by our colleagues on both side of the Atlantic and in Israel. We’ll start with a discussion of the major dilemmas that have emerged since the onset of the conflict and the massacres. Our purpose is to shed light on possible blind spots, and to clarify some of the relevant questions that have emerged in the public debate. Our group - the Circle of Political Humanities at Sciences Po - wishes to contribute to this ongoing global conversation. Our aim is to pursue this task in a scholarly way and with great civility, which is very much consistent with the values of our university. 
With Ariel Colonomos, Astrid Von Busekist, Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi et Frédérique Leichter-Flack
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Calendrier :
Responsable scientifique : Astrid von Busekist


> Session 11 (October 5)

Faith in Secular Human Rights and the Sulbaltern: Reflections of a Postcolonial Feminist

Contributors: Ratna Kapur, Horatia Muir Watt, Helena Alviar, Astrid von Busekist


This session offers reflections on the implications of ‘faith’ on progressive, leftist politics and critical thought through a postcolonial, feminist perspective. Foregrounding the role of faith and secularism in human rights encounters with the religious ‘Other,’ the presentation prompts a host of challenging questions: What is the work that faith does in progressive, left, secular human rights advocacy and critical scholarship? How does a ‘secular’ position reproduce the us and them/civilized and uncivilized/global south and global north divides? What are the epistemological implications of a political position based on freedom from religion for a subaltern sensibility based on freedom through religion and alternative lifeworlds? What new labour of thought is required to be undertaken once the orthodoxies and exclusions present in secular human rights and progressive politics have been exposed?


> Session 12 (November 9)

Truth and fiction in the aftermath of critique

Contributors: Jacques Revel, Sabina Loriga, and Paul-André Rosental


Can we claim to know the truth about the past, or are we condemned to telling only stories? How can we work with the text of reality without increasing the risks of fictionalizing the past? In their recent book Une histoire inquiète, Jacques Revel and Sabina Loriga examine what the critical turn has done to the writing of history and the social sciences, and propose an assessment of this major crisis. 

Peut-on prétendre connaître le vrai à propos du passé ou est-on condamné à ne raconter que ‘des histoires’ ? Comment travailler sur le texte du réel sans agraver le risque de fictionnaliser le passé ? Dans Une histoire inquiète, Jacques Revel et Sabina Loriga examinent ce que le tournant critique a fait à l’écriture de l’histoire et des sciences sociales et proposent un bilan de cette crise majeure. 


> Session 13 (December 7)

Arts, objects and Law

Contributors: Horatia Muir Watt, Helena Alvair, and Robert Wai


In this session we would like to explore the representation in art of physical objects as well as of the spiritual, the ideational, the sublime.  This process of materialization, is both inherent to the artistic process and to the production of law.  We are hoping the images included below will spark a conversation regarding this parallel (...)

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