JOPOL 4(2021)

To Other One’s Self: On Linguistic Practices of Meta-Othering
Ingo H. Warnke

The paper focuses on linguistic practices of self-problematization and positioning in the academic field. In the context of theoretical positions on othering and as a contribution to a postcolonially informed discourse analysis, the focus will be on othering and meta-othering. By way of a close reading of the book The Slow Professor by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber, I will offer an analysis of characteristic formations in the academic discourse on self-problematization along the linguistic category of clusivity, a rhetoric of hiding behind voices, and the search for individual well-being. Othering within academia, in which subjects make themselves into others, appears as a discourse practice not least in a neo-colonial world of privileged self-reference. For further discussion, this leads to the question of which concept of vulnerability can be used to convincingly adopt critical positions. The paper concludes with a comment on Paul Gilroy’s concept of radical openness and thus shows a way out of the trap of academic self-problematization.

Keywords: self-problematization, frantic humanities, binge research, vulnerability, othering, origo, clusivity