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The Burden of Our Times: The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis

Eleanor Davis
845-758-7512
edavis@bard.edu
09-30-2009

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. —The Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking, The Levy Economics Institute, and the Human Rights Project at Bard College are hosting a conference focusing on the recent age of globalization. “The Burden of Our Times: The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis” takes place from Friday, October 16 through Saturday, October 17 in Olin Hall on the Bard College campus. Admission is free to most events. For more information call 845-758-7745 or e-mail berkowit@bard.edu, or go to www.bard.edu/burdenofourtimes/.

The avalanche of commentary on the financial crisis has offered technical analysis, political finger pointing, and a myriad of economic and political solutions. But rarely have these investigations reached beyond the economic and political causes of the crisis to explore their underlying intellectual grounds. That is the effort of Bard’s conference. Political and social thinkers, economists, businessmen, and public intellectuals will, following Hannah Arendt’s approach, seek to comprehend the philosophical as well as the economic and cultural origins of the present world crisis.

Panel discussions include “Can Arendt’s Discussion of Imperialism Help Us to Understand the Current Financial Crisis?”; “Is Global Capitalism the Root of the Financial Crisis?”; “What Are the Political and Cultural Grounds of the Financial Crisis?”; and a roundtable entitled “What Are the Intellectual Foundations of the Financial Crisis?” The conference concludes on Saturday, October 17th with a performance by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director.

The keynote speakers will be Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and founder of the Journal Public Culture; and Hunter Lewis, Founder, Cambridge Associates, and author of 6 books including Are the Rich Necessary? and Where Keynes Went Wrong.

Conference participants include Leon Botstein, president, Bard College; Dimitri Papadimitriou, President of The Levy Economics Institute and Executive Vice President of Bard College; Roger Berkowitz, Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking; Antonia Grunenberg, Director of the Hannah Arendt Center at the University of Oldenburg; Tracy Strong, Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego; Jerry Kohn, Director, Hannah Arendt Center, New School for Social Research; Roberta Sassatelli, Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology, University of Milan; Paul Levy, Founder and Managing Director JLL Partners; Tom Scanlon, Counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department,. Formerly Associate, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Michel Feher, Founder and Editor of Zone Books; Raymond Baker, author of Capitalism’s Achilles Heal; Liah Greenfeld, Author of The Spirit of Capitalism, Boston University; and Rebecca Berlow, General Counsel, Sandelman Partners.

The Arendt Center’s mission is to foster thinking about problems and crises that reflect the insight and independence that Hannah Arendt brought to bear on political and ethical themes from anti-Semitism and totalitarianism to thoughtless consumerism and lying in politics. The effort is not to divine what Hannah Arendt would do or say; instead, it is to try to, as Arendt would have it, comprehend the intellectual origins and root causes of the major events of our time. The Arendt Center was founded in 2009 and combines the digitized Hannah Arendt Archive with Arendt’s personal Library, housed at Bard’s Stephenson Library. For more information go to www.bard.edu/hannaharendtcenter/.

The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Levy Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate. To stimulate discussion of economic issues, the Levy Institute disseminates its findings through publications, conferences, workshops, seminars, congressional testimony, and other activities to an international audience of public officials, private sector executives, academics, and the general public. For more information go to http://www.levy.org.

The Human Rights Project at Bard College was established in 2002 as the first full academic concentration in human rights at a U.S. college. The Human Rights Project includes the Henry R. Luce Professorship in Human Rights and Journalism (shared by Ian Buruma and Mark Danner) and has gone on to develop a range of new courses across the undergraduate curriculum. The core courses cover subjects such as freedom of expression, colonialism and human rights in Africa, the history of the human rights movement, and ways of understanding and challenging violence and suffering. For more information go to hrp.bard.edu/about/.


The Burden of Our Times: The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis
October 16– October 17, Bard College

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 16

12:00 pm         Film Screening: “Twelve Hours to Midnight: Brazil, and the race to build the Society of the Future. ”(Dir. Wolfgang Heuer and Simone Matthei).

2:00 pm                   Tour of the Hannah Arendt Library and the Gravesite

3:00 pm                   Welcoming Remarks

  • Dimitri Papadimitriou, President of the Levy Economics Institute and Executive Vice President of Bard College
  • Roger Berkowitz, Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking

3:30 pm                   Panel One: Can Arendt’s discussion of imperialism help us to understand the current financial crisis?

  • Antonia Grunenberg, Director of the Hannah Arendt Center, University of Oldenburg.. Author of many books, including Der Schlaf der Freiheit, an exploration of the philosophical origins and dangers of globalization.
  • Tracy Strong, Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego. Books include: Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, The Idea of Political Theory, and Weber’s Vocation Lectures.
  • Jerry Kohn, Director, Hannah Arendt Center, New School for Social Research. Editor of excellent editions of many of Arendt’s books, including The Promise of Politics.
  • Chair: Marina van Zuylen, Bard College

5:30 pm                   Panel Two: Is the financial crisis rooted simply in unavoidable human greed, or is it specific to a loss of values endemic to our time and place?

  • Roberta Sassatelli, University of Milan, Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology. Her books include Consumer Culture: History, Theory, and Politics.
  • Robyn Marasco, Hunter College. Political theorist working on the questions of risk and chance in the modern era. Her forthcoming book is titled Hope Against All Hope: Critical Theory on the Heights of Despair.
  • Chair: Joe Luzzi, Bard College

7:00 pm               Keynote Address

  • Arjun Appadurai, Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University.
    Founder of the Journal Public Culture and author of many books including Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger.

8:30 pm              Dinner and opening night party

Saturday, October 17

9:30 am               Panel Three: Is global capitalism the root of the financial crisis?

  • Raymond Baker, Director, Global Financial Integrity Project, Brookings Institute. Author of Capitalism’s Achilles Heel.
  • Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research. Member of the editorial advisory boards of Development, Ethics and International Affairs, and the European Journal of Development Research.
  • Jack Blum, Chairman of Tax Justice Network, USA.
  • Zachary Karabel, President, River Twice Research and author of many books including Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It. (tbc).
  • Moderator: Taun Toay
    The Levy Economics Institute, Bard College.

11:30 am             Panel Four: Is Capitalism the Problem or the Solution to the Financial Crisis?

  • Drucilla Cornell, National Research Foundation Professor, University of Cape Town. Author of many books, including: Moral Images of Freedom.
  • Arno Munster Université de Picardie Jules Verne (Amiens). Professor for German Philosophy and Social Philosophy at the Author of Hannah Arendt Contre Marx.
  • Liah Greenfeld Boston University. University Professor and Professor of Political Science and Sociology. Her many books include The Spirit of Capitalism.
  • Chair: Verity Smith, Harvard University

2:00 pm               Saturday Keynote Address

·                Hunter Lewis, Founder, Cambridge Associates. Author of 6 books, including Are the Rich    Necessary? and Where Keynes Went Wrong.

 

3:45 pm               Panel Five: What are the political and cultural grounds of the financial crisis?

  • Miguel de Beistegui Warwick University. Books include Heidegger and the Political: Dystopias and Truth and Genesis: Philosophy as Differential Ontology.
  • Olivia Custer Bard College. Past codirector of the International Symposium for Research in Phenomenology, Perugia, Italy.
  • Michel Feher, philosopher and a founding editor of Zone books. Author of Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community (2000) and, with Gaëlle Krikorian and Yates McKee, has recently edited Nongovernmental Politics (2007).
  • Chair: Eveline Cioflec, Bard College Hannah Arendt Center Fellow and Fulbright Scholar

5:00 pm               Panel Six: Business Roundtable: What Are the Intellectual Foundations of the Financial Crisis?

  • Paul Levy, Founder and Managing Director JLL Partners and Chairman, Board of Overseers, University of Pennsylvania Law School.
  • Tom Scanlon, Counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department, Formerly Staff Attorney, Federal Reserve Board, and Associate, Morrison & Foerster LLP.
  • Rebecca Berlow, General Counsel, Sandelman Partners.
  • Moderator: Leon Botstein, President, Bard College

6:30 pm                Dinner

8:00 pm                  American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein, Conducting

  • Ludwig van Beethoven's
    Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21
    Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 26
  • Shulamit Ran's
    The Show Goes On, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra

 

 

Program subject to change without notice.

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September 29, 2009


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This event was last updated on 10-02-2009