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Fall 2019 Comparative Literature: German GR6727 section 001
Hannah Arendt's Essays (in English)

Call Number 54556
Day & Time
T 2:10pm-4:00pm
1 Deutsches Haus
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Eva Geulen
Course Description Hannah Arendt's works are currently witnessing an unprecedented reception and revival. A slim volume of a previously untranslated English text, essentially an abbreviation, in lecture format, of her ideas on "Ideology and Terror", first published in "Elements and Origins of Totalitarians Rule" in 1958, sold 50,000 copies within three months in Germany. International publishing houses are cooperating to produce a new biography of the writer and philosophers. Moreover, the first two volumes of a hybrid, multi-lingual critical edition (edited, among others, by Barbara Hahn and James MacFarland) have appeared in recent months. What makes this maverick thinker—never accepted by the political Right and much maligned by the Left—so interesting today that even the strongly divergent reception lines in the US and Europe appear to converge and open up new venues? One possible answer is that Arendt believed courage (rather than morality or honesty) was the cardinal political virtue. In a time of 'fake news' and rising populism, her notoriously unpopular but courageous interventions in public debates (of which her report on the Eichmann-trial is only the most prominent example) stand out. Another reason for the recent surge in (not only academic) interest may have to do with the role literature plays in her thought. To explore both questions, the seminar will focus on the one hand on Arendt's 'interventions' in acute political and social conflicts, from the early essay "We Refugees" (1943) to her contested contribution to racial desegregation of schools in the south with her "Reflections on Little Rock" as well as her reflections on lying in politics, written on occasion of her publication of the Pentagon Papers on the strategies behind the Vietnam War. In addition, we will explore her (often no less contentious) portraits of US-American and European writers such as Auden, Broch, Benjamin, Brecht and others. 
Web Site Vergil
Department Germanic Languages
Enrollment 9 students (50 max) as of 8:04AM Saturday, February 22, 2020
Subject Comparative Literature: German
Number GR6727
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20193CLGR6727G001

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