Fellows 2022/23

Nojang Khatami received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2021 with a thesis on »Rewriting the People: Narrative, Exilic Thinking, and Democratic Agency beyond the West«. His current research project, »Aesthetics, Agency, and Democratic Imagination,« addresses the question of how practices of solidarity can be cultivated in societies characterized by deep diversity. To this end, Khatami engages with the political significance of artistic narratives in historical and contemporary manifestations and questions how they can impact our democratic imagination. According to him, aesthetic expressions in all cultures are significant markers of the ways in which we become aware of unjustifiable norms and respond to them through the practice of democratic action. Following his residency at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Khatami will take up the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus in New York City.

Cain Shelley is currently pursuing a PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His thesis is supervised by Lea Ypi. In 2021, he was a Visiting Research Student at Harvard University. In his doctoral project, »Justice & Class Consciousness: A Theory of Political Transition«, Shelley looks at ways to advance the political project of reducing economic inequality. To this end, he develops a new conception of class consciousness and argues that activist political practice plays a central role in bringing about the conditions for such consciousness. According to Shelley, a compelling theory of class consciousness must combine three components: A convincing social ontology that analyzes the social structure of economic production in the 21st century, an ethics of class politics that describes the conditions under which collective action by the »working class« is morally desirable, and a plausible moral psychology. His research has been published in the Journal of Political Philosophy and the European Journal of Political Theory.

Carlotta Voß graduated from Freie Universität Berlin in 2021 with a thesis on »Ironie und Urteil. Thukydides’ ironische Historiographie als Medium kritischer Anthropologie«. Her current research project, »Between Tradition and Utopia. On the (im)possibility of deconstructive-agonal ethics« she describes as follows: »My research project addresses the (im-)possibility of deconstructive-agonal ethics, taking as a starting point the notions of temporality, historicity and history displayed or implied by agonal radical democratic theory. Given the parallels and continuities between these notions here on the one hand and in the continental Kairos-Philosophy and -Theology of the first half of the 20th Century on the other, I aim to explore whether the latter tradition of thought provides, with its concepts and normative potentials, a fertile ground for outlining a deconstructive-agonal ethics. For example, I am rethinking the notions of promise (and forgiveness) as defined by Hannah Arendt (following Nietzsche and Kierkegaard and being followed by Paul Ricoeur, Judith Butler and others) along the postfoundationalist premises of agonal radical democratic theory. I hope to (re)articulate a question virulent in the present political discourse, the question of »generational justice«, from the perspective of a diachronic radical-democratic ethics in the process.«