-7 Dezember, 2021, 7pm

Prof. Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University : "Ecological Phenomenology: bodiliness and the study of experience in Classical Indian texts"

I will introduce and outline the concept of ‘ecological phenomenology’ that Maria Heim and I developed in the study of classical Indian texts: On the one side, it is a method of analytically describing experience, in which the context always matters and determines the way we can absorb a text’s particular set of descriptions. ‘Context’ in this methodological sense includes: the genre with its literary conventions and lexical registers, the stated purposes of the text, and the narrative or other locating devices by which the significance of the textual passages in question is foregrounded. Ecology here is hermeneutic, and permits shifts of scope and constitution. On the other, it is  a philosophy of the nature of experience  intrinsically bodily in nature. Here, ecological phenomenology argues that the analysis of the bodily manifestation of subjectivity is always dependent on context. ‘Context’ in this philosophical sense includes: material constituents of the objective body whose boundaries and features vary, ambient features of the sensory range, affective artefacts in the environment, norms of conduct, and the dynamics of social identity. Making some intercultural comparisons with certain strands in the Western Phenomenological traditions, I will suggest that ecological phenomenology allows for the emergence of a conception of bodily being that could engage fruitfully with post-Cartesian ideas about the body in Phenomenology.

-18.11.2021, 12.30  (afternoon)


Dr. Bhagat Oinam (Jawaharlal Nehru University): Can there Be a Phenomenological Study Of Indigenous Philosophy?

The title of the talk can be deconstructed through a set of 2 questions (1) can we have a phenomenological reading of indigenous thoughts, and (2) can there be an indigenous philosophy at all?

Taking a position that there is not one but many philosophies, based on differences in civilizational/cultural lives, languages, and belief systems, it is quite obvious that there are multiple ways of philosophizing.

Considering that indigenous thoughts are built upon an embedded world where selfhood is collectively shaped, it will be an interesting exercise to examine if phenomenological approaches can meaningfully engage with an unique ontology. Further, if descriptive ontology can provide meaningful reading of the indigenous thought, perhaps the idea of an indigenous philosophy can be put forward. A historical reading of animism and its possible alternatives may pave the path towards a discourse of indigenous philosophy.


-25 October, 2021, 7pm

Dr. phil. habil. Zhuofei Wang, "Atmosphärenästhetik aus interkultureller Perspektive"



Zhuofei Wang geht in ihrem Vortrag der Frage nach, wie sich die ursprünglich aus der europäischen Denktradition stammende Disziplin der Ästhetik zu einer zeitgemäßen und interkulturell orientierten Ästhetik transformieren lässt, um die außereuropäischen Traditionen mit einbeziehen zu können. Ausgehend davon führt Wang das jüngst entwickelte ästhetische Konzept der Atmosphäre ein, um hier zu vermitteln. Anhand von verschiedenen anschaulichen Beispielen beschreibt sie, wie sich durch das Konzept der Atmosphäre das ästhetische Denken jenseits von Begriffen wie Schönheit für andere Traditionen und Fragestellungen öffnen lässt. Auf dieser Grundlage plädiert sie für eine interkulturell ausgerichtete Ästhetik, die sich von einem herkömmlichen ästhetischen Essentialismus befreit.





-28. September, 2021, 7pm

Prof. Dr. Michaela Ott, "From dualistic to dividual concepts of culture. A history of the entwining of European-African-Antillan cultural understandings".


Abstract: In order to highlight the interdependencies of supposedly individual cultures, the article aims at a reconstruction of the coinage, transfer and translation of the term ‘culture’ in the European-African-Antillan context from the 1940s up to today. Since it has become obvious that all cultural processes are intertwined with elements of different background, the cultural constitution can no longer be adequately described by discursive opposites such as Black vs. White, European vs. African and so forth. The argument therefore goes that the cultural composition needs adequate new terms and that the old term of the ‘individual’ should be replaced by the new term ‘dividuation’ which underlines the processuality, intermixing and mutual participation of all cultural entities. It moves from cultural theories of Leo Frobenius, Jean-Paul Sartre and Leopold Sédar Senghor to arguments of Edouard Glissant, Achille Mbembe, Gilles Deleuze and ‘African’ filmmakers such as Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Jean-Marie Teno and others.

Keywords: culture, interdependency, anti-dichotomy, compositcultural articulations, participation, dividuation, ‘African’ films.


Bio: Professor of aesthetic theories at HFBK Hamburg/Germany; research topics: poststructualist philosophy, aesthetics of film and art, theories of space, affection and dividuation, of artistic knowledge and (post)colonial concerns, African and Arab films. Member of the research cluster “African Multiple”, University Bayreuth/Germany. English publications: Timing of Affect. Epistemologies of Affection, ed. with M.-L. Angerer and Bernd Bösel (Zurich: diaphanes, 2014); Dividuations. Theories of participation (London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2018);

-20 July, 2021, 7pm

Prof. Dr. Franz Gmainer-Pranzl, "Kann Religion Polylog? Chancen und Grenzen der theologischen Rezeption interkultureller Philosophie"



Polyloge bringen die Überzeugung und Haltung interkulturellen Philosophierens auf besondere Weise zur Geltung: vorurteilslos, kommunikativ und argumentativ Beiträge aus unterschiedlichen kulturellen Traditionen miteinander ins Gespräch zu bringen. Ob sich auch Menschen mit religiösen Überzeugungen auf solche Polyloge einlassen können und wollen, ist umstritten – und auf jeden Fall ein Thema theologischer Forschung, die sich ernsthaft mit Fragen interkulturellen Philosophierens auseinandersetzt. Diese Spannung zwischen religiösen Wahrheits- und Heilsansprüchen einerseits und polylogem Philosophieren andererseits sowie die Möglichkeiten und Grenzer einer theologischen Rezeption interkultureller Philosophie werden im Vortrag thematisiert.

Franz Gmainer-Pranzl ist Professor und Leiter des Zentrum Theologie Interkulturell und Studium der Religionen an der Katholisch-Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Salzburg.

-June 30th, 7 pm

Dr. Elise Coquereau-Saouma, "Philosophical Disagreements and Plurality of Voices: Rethinking the Rules of Debates in Contemporary India".

In today’s academic world, we have become aware of the need to account for a plurality of existing worldviews and philosophical positions originating from several traditions (that is in terms of concepts - contents, as well as their expressions), and slowly also from the intermingling itself of several traditions. This has challenged our perspective on how to define which argument is ‘true’ and ‘false’ especially in philosophical debates, when we confront different philosophical systems with different assumptions, when the line between truth/false cannot be deductively drawn from within a system where the conditions are defined.

If we today acknowledge the need for plurality, without radical universalistic claims nor relativism, this ‘need’ does not tell us how to understand or react to positions that are influenced by different philosophical backgrounds and how to evaluate and respond to them. How to deal with epistemic plurality in a way that would be more than a polite acknowledgment of the arguments that we do not know - and respectfully want to avoid when we feel we cannot judge their adequacy - and how to react to philosophical disagreements that cannot be rationally dissolved, i.e. those disagreements that go beyond the problem of internal validity or consistency of an argument?

A salient endeavor of postcolonial Anglophone Indian philosophies has been to seek reconciliation of different viewpoints and worldviews that appear contradictory with each other. Philosophers like Kalidas Bhattacharyya, J. N. Chubb and Daya Krishna explore the constitutions of disagreements in philosophy or more in general, ways to cultivate a metaphilosophical standpoint from where a plurality of claims and voices can originate without seeming contradictory. With their analyzes, I suggest to understand philosophical disagreements beyond the strict analytic divide of truth and false or validity, and to look at other constitutive criteria of formation of one’s standpoints, to consider plurality in debates.

-27 April, 2021, 7pm

Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Goddard, "La pensée politique d’Eboussi Boulaga entre Amérique Latine et Afrique"

(In French with Q&A in English/French)


Eboussi Boulaga ouvre Christianisme sans fétiche par un court chapitre consacré à la colonisation comme « extirpation », par référence aux campagnes d’Extirpation menées par les catholiques espagnols au 16ème siècle au Pérou, « le précédent latino-américain » aidant, dit Eboussi, « à comprendre la situation africaine ». L’Extirpation coloniale est triple. Elle est Extirpation du lieu, Extirpation de la relationnalité et Extirpation du futur. L’unité du territoire, de la capacité de construire des relations et de se rapporter de façon non téléologique, non linéaire et répétitive, au temps, est ce que consacre pour Eboussi le terme de « civilisation ». L’Extirpation est alors proprement, sous son triple aspect, « décivilisation ». Répétant, trois siècles après les extirpateurs du vice-roi du Pérou, l’inversion caractéristique de la politique d’Extirpation qui fait passer l’attachement aux relations concrètes, sensibles et intellectuelles, qui fondent la communauté pour une dépendance idolâtre, l’Extirpation coloniale en Afrique (et tout particulièrement au Cameroun) a pour unique intention et pour effet certain la mise en « crise » de la politique, c’est-à-dire son empêchement –l’altération et la dégradation de son domaine distinctif : celui de la conception et de la réalisation commune des projets par l’échange des idées et des paroles. Dans la mesure où la politique est, pour Eboussi, « ce qui donne valeur à la vie en commun », la forme coloniale du gouvernement des hommes, qui, appuyée sur cette inversion, dé-politise la politique, « sape jusqu’aux fondations de la politique » au cœur même de l’exercice politique, entraîne donc nécessairement avec elle une totale dépréciation de la vie commune – c’est-à-dire tout bonnement de la vie. Cette forme de gouvernement politique paradoxal, proprement anti-politique, repose en outre sur une conception de l’exercice du pouvoir comme guerre généralisée et permanente contre une population spécifiquement ennemie. L’anti-politique d’extirpation ne se contente pas, en effet, d’une simple confrontation avec l’infidélité chronique des gouvernés : elle contre-invente elle-même cette infidélité en vandalisant les solidarités qui structurent en profondeur la société qu’elle se soumet, en produisant, par l’incitation à la haine, par la séparation, par toutes sortes d’exactions, le pire régime de désordre et de violence qui soit. Elle organise ainsi elle-même la régression à l’état de nature pré-politique qu’elle déplore et qui justifie son intervention transcendante sous la seule forme d’une action répressive. De ce qui constitue la condition de possibilité du socius humain, à savoir l’évitement délibéré de toute conventionnalisation fixiste, de toute collectivisation coercitive, par un travail de constante différenciation, elle fait un chaos, « une mer de dissemblance » – une impossibilité de vivre ensemble.

-23 March 2021, 7 pm

Dr. Jonathan Chimakonam Okeke: "Overcoming the three Challenges of Intercultural Philosophy: A Conversational Approach"



In this talk, I will provide a conception of intercultural philosophy and contrast it with that of comparative philosophy. I will argue that whereas the goal of comparative philosophy is to ‘investigate the possibility of constructing a philosophical universal from cultural particulars’, that of intercultural philosophy should be to ‘open a collective vista, a path to new ideas informed by a realisation of mutual limitations in order to extend the frontiers of knowledge. I will identify three prominent challenges that confront an intercultural philosopher and demonstrate how they could be addressed through the approach of Conversational Thinking.

-11 February 2021, 7 pm

Dr. Hora Zabarjadi Sar:

Islamic Feminism: The Iranian Narrative

Islamic feminism speaks ‘in the name of’ women who refuse to choose between the ‘road to feminist emancipation’ and their ‘belonging’ to Islam as a culture and a religion. Islamic feminism is not only a ‘posture’ but a ‘performance’; a struggle that aims to surpass the ‘resistance identity’ to ‘project identity’ by actively engaging in a hermeneutical discourse with the Holy text as an embodied subject. Women’s hermeneutical engagement with the text will actualize those potential of the text that is abandoned and neglected by the patriarchal approach to it during the last 14 centuries. However, women’s participation in and support for the Islamist movement provokes strong responses from feminists across a broad range of the political spectrum. One of the most common reactions is the supposition that women Islamist supporters are pawns in a grand patriarchal plan, who, if freed from their bondage, would naturally express their instinctual abhorrence for the traditional Islamic mores used to enchain them.

While Afsane Najm Abadi, one of the prominent figures of Iranian feminism, believed that post-colonial discourse is an ‘inaccessible space’ for discussing about Iran, as the discourse of colonizer and colonized leaves no space for the ‘neither-nor’ zone, but others like Minoo Moallem and Ziba Mir-Hosseini discussed that both the translational discourse of the modernist and reformist Iranian elite from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the Islamist Fundamentalist approach to gender in the post-revolutionary Iran were a reaction to the Western concept of civilization and the western account of Persia.

This presentation aims to reflect on the Islamic Feminism from an Iranian perspective and how certain historical moments led to the realization of Iranian Muslim woman’s identity, fighting simultaneously two entangled battles against colonial discourse of a civilizing mission of West and patriarchal representation of religious identity. Although, Islamic Feminism is not the only feminist movement that is traceable in Iranian modern history, by providing an historical overview, I will discuss that the Iranian approach to Islamic Feminism is a part of a more profound political and religious movement that is known as ‘Islamic Reformism’.

-21 January 2021, 7 pm

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schellhammer: Zum Anspruch des Fremden im Denken

"Der Vortrag thematisiert den Anspruch des Fremden in der Philosophie. Ausgehend von der Klärung der Begriffe des "Anspruchs" und des "Fremden" geht er der Frage nach, warum sich (nicht nur) das westliche Denken schwer tut mit Fremdem. Daran anknüpfend formuliert er drei Thesen, wie das Philosophieren mit "Fremdheitsanspruch" gelingen könnte. Dies geschieht vor dem Hintergrund der Erfahrung des interkulturellen Philosophierens mit indigenen Menschen in Kanada."



Los Angeles 10:00 AM

Sao Paulo 14:00 PM

Germany 7:00 PM

India 10:30 AM