Summer School on "Resistance"

September 13, 2021 - September 17, 2021
Vienna Doctoral School of Philosophy, University of Vienna

Universitatsstrasse 7
Vienna 1010

Main speakers:

Universitat de Barcelona
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Vienna
University of Vienna
Cambridge University
University of Vienna
Vanderbilt University
Yale University
University of Vienna


University of Vienna

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The Vienna Doctoral School of Philosophy will host its inaugural summer school from 13-17 September 2021, on the theme of “Resistance.”


In recent years, concepts and narratives of resistance have come to play a prominent role in both popular and philosophical discourse. This is evident, for example, in the rise of resistance movements—that is, large-scale collective efforts to reject or challenge some aspect of the dominant order. These range from movements concerned with challenging race- and gender-based injustice (such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter), to initiatives concerned with disrupting structures of epistemic and educational hegemony (such as the Rhodes Must Fall movement), to calls for specific policy changes or government action (such as the Farmers Protest in India, and the Fridays For Future movement). At the same time, the notion of resistance has become central to a great deal of recent philosophical research, especially in fields traditionally viewed as apolitical, such as epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. This includes, for example, the identification of practices of epistemic injustice in social epistemology; accounts of silencing and harmful speech in the philosophy of language; and the analysis of oppressive categories and concepts in social metaphysics. Work in these areas raises questions about the nature of resistance, and the ways in which these forms of injustice and oppression can be confronted and counteracted. What does it mean, and what does it take to resist? What structural remedies and discursive strategies are available as tools of resistance?

The 2021 summer school will explore and bring into dialogue multiple perspectives on Resistance, in the form of five inter-related course modules taught by expert instructors:

Epistemology and Resistance: José Medina (Northwestern University) and Leo Townsend (University of Vienna).

Conceptual Engineering and Resistance: Sally Haslanger (MIT) and Esa Díaz-León (University of Barcelona)

Speech Act Theory and Resistance: Rae Langton (University of Cambridge) and Laura Caponetto (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele)

Resistance and Law: Elisabeth Holzleithner (University of Vienna) and Dina Lupin Townsend (University of Vienna)

Political Discourse and Resistance: Jason Stanley (Yale University) and Dirk Kindermann (University of Vienna)


The summer school will consist of lectures, seminars and student presentations. Each module will feature two lectures and an instructor-led seminar devoted to discussion and analysis of key texts. In addition, there will be sessions dedicated to presentation and discussion of participants’ work.

Due to the unforeseeable future of Covid-19, the course is planned as a hybrid format event. Participants will be expected to attend in person, but some instruction will take place via video conferencing. However, if travel and local restrictions so demand, the school will take place entirely online.


We welcome applications from doctoral candidates in philosophy or neighbouring disciplines. If numbers allow, we may consider applications from advanced Masters students and early-stage postdocs. Successful applicants will be expected to complete the assigned preparatory reading, actively engage in lectures and seminars, and give a short presentation during the event.

To apply, please send a short academic CV (max two pages) and a letter of motivation (max one page) by email:

The application deadline is 14 May 2021.


Participants will be required to pay an administration fee of €40.

More information

Enquiries about the event can be addressed to Leo Townsend by email:

Updates and further information will be made available at:

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May 14, 2021, 1:00pm CET

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