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Posts Tagged ‘Silence’

Today, I had a chat about my ongoing research project on political silences in 19th-century Europe with Philipp Janssen for his marvellous podcast Anno PunktPunktPunkt. It will probably take a while until our discussion is published in its feed (available on all the major podcast providers), but until then, I can highly recommend listening to the 50+ episodes currently online.

Some information on the podcast project itself can be found here.

Anno

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On March 6, I’m participating in a workshop organized by Ludovic Marionneau of Helsinki University within the framework of the ERC Research Group ‘CALLIOPE, Vocal Articulations of Parliamentary Identity and Empire

under the title

Oratory and Represenation: Parliamentary Discourses and Practics in the Nineteenth Century

Venue: University of Helsinki – Topelia D112

The call for papers can be found here.

Program

9:00 – 11:00 – First Session

  • Theo Jung (University of Freiburg): Performing Silence in the House of Speech: Benjamin Disraeli and the Parliamentary Sphinx.
  • Clarice Bland (University of Helsinki): Emotion, Not Eloquence: Bulwer-Lytton in the House of Commons.
  • Tamás Nyirkos (Pázmány Péter Catholic University): Conservative Orators in Restoration France: Bonald vs. Chateaubriand.
  • Ludovic Marionneau (University of Helsinki): “The president shakes the bell to no avail”: performance in the French parliamentary debates leading to Jacques-Antoine Manuel’s exclusion, 1823.

11.00 – Coffee break

11.20 – 12:50 – Second Session

  • Carlo Bovolo (University of Eastern Piedmont): Images from the Parlamento Subalpino: political and cultural representations of the Parliament in the Kingdome of Sardinia (1848-1861).
  • Daniel Morat (Free University of Berlin): Parliamentary Speech and Stenographic Practice in the German Reichstag, 1871-1914.
  • Oriol Luján (Complutense University of Madrid): Political Representation in 19th century Spain: a conceptual perspective.

12.50 – Lunch

14.00 – 15:50 – Third Session

  • Anna Rajavuori (University of Helsinki): Performing socialist in the Parliament: class and authority in the early 20th century Finland’s representative politics.#
  • Ivan Sablin (University of Heidelberg): When Subalterns Speak: Performing Class and Ethnicity in the Russian State Duma, 1906–1917.#
  • Karen Lauwers (University of Helsinki): The relevance of histories of extra-parliamentary representation and informal political communication (France, 19th-20th centuries).

15.50 – Coffee break

16:00 – 17:00 – Keynote Speech

  • Henk Te Velde – University of Leiden

17:00 – 17:30 – Concluding remarks

  • Josephine Hoegaerts – University of Helsinki

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4250I’m glad to announce that my article

Die Stimme des Volkes und sein Schweigen: die Kommunikationsrevolution von 1848/49 zwischen Erwartung und Erfahrung

[The People’s Voice and Its Silence: The Communications Revolution of 1848 between Expectation and Experience]

has been published in the 59th volume of the Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, a special issue under the title “Changing the World Revolutions in History”.

Preliminary drafts of the contributions were discussed at a workshop held in Berlin in October 2018 (call for papers), before they were prepared for the publication now available from J. W. Dietz Verlag.


My contribution discusses the 1848 German revolution as a ‘communications revolution’. Whereas earlier research had understood this concept mainly in terms of the infrastructural contexts of revolutionary developments, I argue that it can be fruitfully applied to the specific contemporary understanding of what the revolution was and what it aimed to achieve.

Building on a widespread understanding of politics as an articulation of the people’s voice, contemporaries conceived of the revolution first and foremost as a breaking of its silence. The article sketches how this understanding of the political meaning of the revolution impacted revolutionaries’ language use.

Focusing on the first national parliament in Frankfurt, it delineates the negotiation of speech and silence in this decisive political arena as well as the reactions this elicited from outside. Thus, it offers a new interpretation of the 1848 revolution in terms of the changing expectations put on politician’s communicative action and of their impact on political practice.


The volume’s introduction, written by Kerstin Heinsohn and Dietmar Süß can be read online here. The other contributions (summaries) are available in print.

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Together with Mónica Brito Vieira (York), Sean W. D. Gray (Harvard), and Toby Rollo (Lakehead, Canada), I published a Critical Exchange in the journal Contemporary Political Theory titled

The Nature of Silence and Its Democratic Possibilities

It consists of four contributions and an introduction.

  • Silence as a Mode of Political Communication: Negotiating Expectations – Theo Jung.
  • Interpreting Silence: A Note of Caution – Sean W.D. Gray.
  • Two Political Ontologies and Three Models of Silence: Voice, Signal, and Action – Toby Rollo.
  • Silent Agency – Mónica Brito Vieira.

A pre-publication online version of the text can be read here, the published version here.

The Critical Exchange proposes a reconsideration of the multifarious forms and functions of silence in the political field, which cannot be reduced to the effects of silencing or of secrecy alone, but also encompass silent resistance, denial and a multitude of performative practices constitutive of individual or group identities.

My own contribution concerns the current state of research into political silences and some of its weaknesses. It proposes a re-orientation focused on the role of expectations, starting from the premise that communicative silence functions as the expressive omission of an expected signal.

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Julian Scott: Empire of Silence, Swiss Expo 2002.

Many thanks to my co-contributors, but especially to Mónica for inviting us to York and for organizing this publication.

As a group, we are working on another special issue on this topic, currently under review at the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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Johan Schloemann, a journalist at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, has published a short article on the edited volume Zwischen Handeln und Nichthandeln: Unterlassungspraktiken in der europäischen Moderne and about my contribution about the withholding of applause and acclamation as a form of protest.

It may be found here.

Download

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In the Handbuch Sound edited by Daniel Morat and Hansjakob Ziemer, which is now available both as eBook and hardcover, my article on

Silence / Schweigen

provides a survey of the wide and sprawling interdisciplinary landscape of ‘silence research’ with a special focus on the subject’s political dimensions. After an overview over various approaches and empirical fields, the contribution argues for the need for a stronger analytical integration of two aspects that have hitherto mostly been considered separately: the spectrum of cultural meanings of silence on the one hand and the pragmatics of its use as a particular mode of language on the other.

9783476026040

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I received notice that my article

  • Le silence du peuple: The Rhetoric of Silence during the French Revolution, in: French History 31, Nr. 4 (2017), 440–469, DOI: 10.1093/fh/crx062.

published last year in the journal French History, has been awarded the French History Article Prize 2017 by the Society for the Study of French History.

I am very grateful to the editorial board panel that selected my contribution and hope that the fact that the article is being made available online free of charge (here) will help it find a larger readership.

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