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Hannah Arendt Center presents

A Lunchtime Talk by Stefania Maffeis

Spaces of “Politics” – Aspects of Transnationality in Arendt's Thinking

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The popularity of Hannah Arendt in the last two decades is a transnational phenomenon. Still, there are enormous disparities in the perception of her work. In Italy and France, Arendt is commonly read as a philosopher. In Germany, she is generally respected as a public intellectual, and her writings are almost unknown at universities. In the United States, despite the recurrent controversies, there is consistent academic Arendt scholarship, at least in political theory.

What do these differences reveal about the social conditions and practices through which ideas and theories are read, taught, written and performed? How can the relationship between theories and the context of their reception be understood? Is it just a matter of different interpretative situations of the same theories, or are we confronted with an immanent social and transnational dimension of theories, in this case of Arendt's thinking? What is this social dimension and how can it be analyzed?

This talk will present a long-term research project on the transnational circulation of ideas in the work and reception of Hannah Arendt between the US and Germany since the 1950s. To do so, it will engage aspects of transnationality in the making of an idea of 'politics’ in Arendt’s writings of the late 1940s and 1950s.


Time: 12:30 pm

Location: Arendt Center