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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

DemCP colloquium - KRISTINA LEPOLD (HU Berlin): "Ambivalent Recognition" (Co-Sponsored by the Groningen School of Critical Theory)

When:We 23-03-2022 16:00 - 17:30
Where:Room A902 (Broerstraat 9) & online

Research colloquium of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics

Kristina Lepold (HU Berlin)
Ambivalent Recognition

Co-Sponsored by the Groningen School of Critical Theory


Recognition is usually considered to be a central condition for individual self-realization and hence is generally regarded as something positive. However, the suspicion has been repeatedly expressed in the literature that recognition may not play such a positive role in individual development and social relations after all. In my talk, I provide an innovative account of recognition as an ambivalent phenomenon. Instead of trying to locate its ambivalent character in the ethical significance of recognition for individuals, I argue that we need to consider the role of recognition in social life. The social-theoretical perspective I adopt reveals that recognition, in addition to being a condition for individual self-realization, can be involved in the perpetuation of unjust and oppressive social arrangements and that it is therefore - at least potentially - ambivalent.

About the speaker

Dr. Kristina Lepold is a junior professor of social philosophy and critical theory in the Department of Philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin. Prior to this, she was a lecturer of social philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt, where she also earned her PhD in 2017. She has published in critical theory and social philosophy, feminist philosophy and critical philosophy of race. Among her publications are the edited volume Recognition and Ambivalence (Columbia University Press 2021), the reader Critical Philosophy of Race (Suhrkamp 2021) and the edited volume Debating Critical Theory: Engagements with Axel Honneth (Rowman & Littlefield 2020).