The HAC Visiting Fellows
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST/GMT-5
Join us at the Arendt Center and meet with
Alex Cain, Tim Wyman-McCarthy, and Mirka Muilu
"Arendtian Friendship as a 'Tiny Microworld'"
Hannah Arendt once wrote in a letter to Kurt Blumenfeld that “nothing in the world is as important as friends.” But she made various inconsistent claims about friendship and whether it is a private or public activity. For example, she wrote to Gershom Scholem that she "loves only her friends", states in The Human Condition and in her letter to James Baldwin that love is private and is inimical to public display, and yet multiple times also highlights the public aspects of friendship. In this talk I give a reading of Arendtian friendship that draws on her notion of amor mundi, or love of the world, in order to show that Arendtian friendship is the love of a "tiny microworld", a phrase she uses to describe her relationship with her husband. As such Arendtian friendship is an activity capable of breaching Arendt's own strict distinction between the public and private realms.
Alex Cain is a PhD candidate and Teaching Associate in the philosophy department at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her thesis is titled "Hannah Arendt and Friendship" and will be submitted in 2023. She is a Visiting Scholar at Bard College 2022-2023.
"Elite Liberal Discourses of Political Authenticity"
This presentation considers how two conceptual tools prominent among progressive foundations today--participatory grantmaking and the social change ecosystem--represent the relationship between elite liberal professionals and grassroots social movements. Why have these practices and concepts become popular in the past decade, and what do they indicate about liberal responses to left political aspirations in an increasingly illiberal age?
Tim Wyman-McCarthy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is completing a dissertation on how the rhetoric of social movements has entered liberal social change projects. The project, "In Search of the Political," aims to theorize the political grammar developed by elite human rights, development, and philanthropic institutions in their engagement with social movements. His research and teaching interests encompass histories of human rights, philanthropy, and development; law and the humanities; postcolonial and settler colonial studies; socio-legal studies; narrative analysis and genre theory; and the intersection of literature and political theory.
"Common Sense: Hannah Arendt as a Material Media Theorist"
My research examines Hannah Arendt's thinking from the perspective of material media theory and interprets of her concept of common sense as a way to politicize the reciprocal relationship between the material earth and the human made world. In my research, I juxtapose my interpretation on the one hand with the concept of Gaia (e.g. Latour, Stengers) and on the other hand with Rancière's concept of partage du sensible. My aim is to produce media philosophically oriented concepts that would consider non-human reality as part of the constitution of the shared reality.
Mirka Muilu is a PhD candidate in media studies at Tampere University. Her interests lie are in science and technology studies, new materialism and theories and possibilities of civil activity. In her research, she interprets Hannah Arendt’s theory of active life from the perspective of material media theory. The dissertation brings Arendt’s conceptualizations into the discussion with the current debates of agency and suggests that Arendt’s way to understand the dynamic between the earth and the world offers a fruitful analytical viewpoint to politicize the material dependencies of virtual media cultures.
For more information, call 845-758-6822.
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST/GMT-5