The Contemporary Relevance of Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt, a political philosopher, is best known for her classic work, The Origins of Totalitarianism, and her controversial book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. This seminar will explore key theories, not only from these works, but also The Human Condition and her essays “On Violence” and “On Revolution.” Recognizing the recent rediscovery of The Origins of Totalitarianism, there will be an intersectional approach to such concepts as plurality, conscious pariah, and statelessness alongside her embodied interrogation of Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Question. Using her political theory of amor mundi, love of the world, as a means to transgress ordinary boundaries, we will wrestle with the following questions: To what extent is her principle of coexistence (amor mundi) relevant to contemporary discussions of intersectionality or queer politics in an international setting?; Does Arendt’s vision serve as an alternative to more limited notions of political tolerance, one more directly attuned to question justice?; Is her concept of plurality an important companion to theories of intersectionality and sexual politics?