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This paper presents an overview of my work in philosophy from my first book on Friedrich Schiller and the political sublime to my most recent project on listening to traumatic forms of violence. Starting with a reflection on the autobiographical character of philosophy, I propose to take up the question of an aesthetic dimension of philosophical critique, where aesthetics is understood as an always already embodied perspective on the world, on truth, and on philosophical activity, as well as an always already political realm, where the distribution of sense pre-determines our approach and articulation of experience. Departing from aesthetics understood and deployed as critique, the paper moves on to ask about the specific frameworks of sense or grammars that determine in advance the conditions of audibility in the realms of memory-building and history-making—particularly in those contexts where historical, political, and institutional forms of violence produce silencing and erasure. Putting in dialogue the latter with decolonial studies, I (re)interpret “traumatic violence” as a colonizing form of violence, understanding that one of its central aspects is that it is not only an assault on life but on the conditions of production of sense that make life legible as such. In this context, my project on grammars of listening seeks to carefully unpack these complex intersections while also explaining why I believe that a radical form of listening is an essential subversive/imaginative strategy against traumatic/colonial violence.
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