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Building the Common Human World

Roundtable discussion "Building the Common Human World: Hannah Arendt and Public Action" within the framework of "Critique of the Social Sciences and Humanities" Seminar in conjunction with "Human Rights" Seminar (58-60 Galernaya Street).

Arendt’s notion of the public and the emergence of a common world have become classic points of reference. Politics is the activity that brings a shared world into being with words and action. But what happens to the public world of politics when we congregate less in new technological and virtual public spaces? Social media protests that began with the Green attempted revolution in Iran and the Occupy movement in the U.S. suggest political possibilities for virtual communities. Should we embrace a networked and virtual politics? Or in doing so are we caught in frame, as Walter Benjamin's image of “Niobe," unwilling to move from virtual protest to real revolution. The question today is how to inhabit, challenge, and change the public world while also, as Arendt insisted, loving that world.

The hope is that by returning to Arendt we may find insights to help us to build a complex notion of the public adequate to our new realities. It is an effort to find a path to an action that would weave the texture of solidarity and transform the community, instead of freezing or destroying it. The workshop will address this and other related issues of Arendt heritage thus continuing to establish a memory of Arendt in a place that was home to her ancestors and that is now so full of interest in her heritage.

Confirmed speakers

  • Roger Berkowitz (Bard College, USA)
  • Alexander Filippov (HSE, Moscow)
  • Samantha Hill (Bard College, USA)
  • Artemy Magun (SPbSU, EU SPb)
  • Thomas Schestag (Brown University, USA)
  • Cecilia Sjoholm (Sodertorn University, Sweden)
  • Thomas Wild (Bard College, USA)

25 april

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