Contradiction Studies

Breaking) Barriers in Academia: Mapping the Field

Sonja Drobnic (SOCIUM, U Bremen), Dora Simunovic (BIGSSS, U Bremen) Nelson Sindze Wembe (RTG Contradiction Studies & BIGSSS U Bremen) & Lisa Spanka (Equal Opportunities Office, U Bremen)

06/13/2023 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

BIGSSS, Konferenzraum, Mary Somerville Str. 7 (UNICOM Building, 3rd Floor)

Part of the lecture series NAVIGATING ACADEMIA organized by BIGSSS & the RTG Contradiction Studies

The dominant understanding of academia assumes that beneficial participation for all involved (students, early career researchers, academic staff…) is based primarily on the ability to make a valuable intellectual contribution to research. In reality, however, universities – and higher education as a whole – are complex social systems in which the agency and access of each individual is determined in multiple ways, including by gender, ethnicity, social class, and health status. These determinations can create powerful cultural and social barriers and inequalities. In the panel discussion “(Breaking) Barriers in Science: Mapping the Field,” we will try to overcome the taboo of not addressing them, identify the most common types of barriers, consider strategies for addressing them, and narrow down the future content of our Navigating Academia series.


Prof. Dr. Sonja Drobnic SOCIUM | U Bremen

Dr. Dora Simunovic BIGSSS | U Bremen

Nelson Sindze Wembe | RTG Contradiction Studies & BIGSSS | U Bremen

Dr. Lisa Spanka Equal Opportunities Office | U Bremen

Moderated by
Dr. Christian Peters BIGSSS | U Bremen

Back to overview
hierarchy of norms

“If social contradictions are reflected in law, law cannot form a hierarchy of norms free of contradictions.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano
ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht
Bhabha on enlightenment and coloniality

“Homi Bhabha says about the contradiction between the ideals of the enlightenment, claims to democracy and solidarity and simultaneous colonization and ongoing coloniality: ‘That ideological tension, visible in the history of the West as a despotic power, at the very moment of the birth of democracy and modernity, has not been adequately written in a contradictory and contrapuntal discourse of tradition.’”

Kerstin Knopf
prison of difference

“‘Contradiction is the prison of difference‘ writes the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Worlds of Contradiction asks: how can we explain and describe the world without making it more coherent and systematic than it is?”

Michi Knecht

“The contradiction of law in Derrida lies in the interstice that separates the impossibility of deconstructing justice from the possibility of deconstructing law.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano