• Lecture

Divergent Worlds. On the difficulty (and Joy) of Translating Epistemic Disconcertment

Autorin: Just Chaos, Titel: Aloe polyphylla, 2007 (Fotografie), Quelle: Wikimedia Commons


This talk will inquire into the »epistemic disconcertment« between divergent practices of knowledge creation. Drawing on the resonances between Emanuele Coccia’s plant humanities and the »ecology of practices« of translators of North-American indigenous thought, the focus will be on a form of bewilderment that provides fresh ideas for translation.


For Emanuele Coccia, the only legitimate form of philosophy is cosmology based on the cosmogony of plants. In this regard, Coccia’s thinking bears striking similarities to the translation of North-American indigenous thought by Robin Kimmerer, a Potawatomi writer and biologist. Coccia’s sharp critique of the compartmentalization and thus self-censorship among academic disciplines strongly resonates with pedagogical principles found in the epistemologies of the South. Nevertheless, these resonances incur significant »epistemic disconcertment« (H. Verran) between divergent knowledge practices. Drawing on Isabelle Stengers’s understanding of »relational hetero- geneity«, Elisabeth Weber’s talk will explore such epistemic disconcertment through an emphasis on the difficulties of translation rather than mere comparison.


Elisabeth Weber is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an instructor for the »Foundation in the Humanities« Prison Pedagogy Correspondence Program, based at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UC Santa Barbara. She also teaches for the Scholars At Risk Network USA. Currently she is IFK_Guest of the director.




Für die Teilnahme in Präsenz ist ein 3-G-Nachweis (geimpft, genesen oder PCR-getestet), sowie eine Anmeldung per E-Mail an registration@ifk.ac.at notwendig.

Für die Teilnahme via Zoom ist eine Meeting-Registrierung notwendig. Den Zoom-Link erhalten Sie im Anschluss per E-Mail zugeschickt.


For participating in person, a 3G-certificate (vaccinated, recovered, or PCR-tested) is necessary. You also need to register in advance via email: registration@ifk.ac.at


For participating via Zoom, you need to register for the meeting. The Zoom-link will be sent to you directly afterwards via email.

Weitere Informationen zu Elisabeth Weber

Ort: IFK; IFK@Zoom