January 25, 2024
Night of Science at the Helsinki Collegium
HCAS will organize a program for the Night of Science festival in January 2024. Follow this page for updates!
Dates TBA, HCAS Common Room
Erkko Conference: How to craft political relationships with words
Organized by HCAS Core Fellow Maria Khachaturyan and Professor Ole Wæver (University of Copenhagen; Erkko professor at HCAS in 2022)
What mechanisms in language and modes of linguistic action can create political relationships? How do authority and solidarity emerge? How does a particular social group become ‘a problem’ or ‘a danger’ for society? Beyond the familiar phenomenon that discourse is an arena of struggle over the dominant description and categorization of ‘reality’, discourse is also where actors install specific types of political relationships. Societies are structured by obligations, rights, licenses and commitments. These complex relationships need linguistic operations that bring them about – explicit speech acts such as promises and warnings; presupposition accommodation in political statements; social hierarchies implied by the rules of use of registers. How do political orders begin? What forms of action craft meaningful forms of political relationships? Valuable insights have been articulated in speech act theory, linguistic anthropology, feminist performativity theory, pragmatic sociology, political theory and conceptual history. These and others should get into closer conversation and explore their contributions through empirical illustrations.