Thursday, 26 January 2017

#7 – 02/02/2017: On Revolution

'In a constellation that poses the threat of total annihilation through war against the hope for emancipation of all mankind through revolution [...] no cause is left but the most ancient of all [...] the cause of freedom versus tyranny.’

Hannah Arendt, On Revolution

In our next session we'll be grappling with "The Meaning of Revolution". We'll explore Arendt's challenge to the Marxist idealisation of the French Revolution, and her argument that we should take inspiration from America instead. Here, Arendt brings her conceptions of freedom and political action to bear, and proposes revolutionary constitutionalism as the means for emancipation. Is this the answer to the question, 'what happens the day after the revolution'? 

Where? LHRI, Seminar room 1
When? Thursday, 2nd Feburary, 5-7pm
Primary reading: "The Meaning of Revolution", from On Revolution. PDF here.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

#6 – Guest speaker Simon Swift presents "Hannah Arendt, Tact and Critical Theory"

In the Jewish tradition there is a concept, hard to define and yet concrete enough, which we know as Ahabath Israel: "Love of the Jewish people..." In you, dear Hannah, as in so many intellectuals who came from the German Left, I find little trace of this. [...] Would there not have been a place [in Eichmann in Jerusalem] for what I can only describe with that modest German word – "Herzenstakt"?
Gershom Scholem, Letter to Hannah Arendt, June 23 1963

At stake in Arendt’s tactlessness [...] is a crucial, although often unacknowledged strand in her thought as a whole, namely the issue of the relation between politics and feeling. 
Simon Swift, 'Hannah Arendt's Tactlessness'

Our first session of 2017 will be run by guest speaker Simon Swift, director of the Northern Theory School and Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Geneva. Simon has published extensively on Hannah Arendt - from articles such as 'Hannah Arendt's Tactlessness: Reading Eichmann in Jerusalem' to his monograph Hannah Arendt, which is part of the Routledge Critical Thinkers series. 

Simon will be presenting on Arendt, tact and critical theory, covering issues such as the relationship between tact, tactlessness and theory, and the 'tactlessness' of Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A, and then a group discussion of chapters 1, 3, 7, and 14.

Where?: LHRI, Seminar Room 1 
When?: Thursday 19th January, 5-7pm
Primary reading: Chapters 1, 3, 7 and 14 from Eichmann in Jerusalem. PDF here.