Samantha Hill, Klemens von Klemperer Post Doctoral Fellow Lunchtime Talk2017-02-14 Arendt Center
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Hosted by: The Hannah Arendt CenterThis event occurred on: Tue. February 14, 11:30 am – 1 pm
Trump, Odysseus, & The Siren Song of Authoritarianism
What is the lure of authoritarianism? Donald Trump talks about himself in the third person, he lies gratuitously and without consequence. He performs an objectified version of himself slipping between his own subjective self, and the objectified persona he has crafted for public consumption. He is a no man who stands for everyman, a brand name, commodity good. Trump, like Adorno and Horkheimer’s Odysseus, is a man of reason though; he knows how to objectify the world, exercise his power, and grab what he wants. The political theater of fascism relies upon a mythology of nostalgia and moral goodness. When Trump says, “I am your voice. I alone can fix it”, he condenses the people—a various multitude—into an oneness that he siphons strength and power from. He appeals to the metaphysical longing that has arisen in our country, where moral absolutism seems to offer a sense of certainty and a solution to fear. Fear authoritarian logic creates and then offers a cure for.
BIO: Samantha Rose Hill received her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2014. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and The Humanities at Bard College. Her research and teaching interests include critical theory, the Frankfurt School, aesthetic theory, and the History of Political Thought. Hill is currently finishing a manuscript of Hannah Arendt’s poetry, which has been edited and translated into English: Into the Dark: The Collected Poems of Hannah Arendt. Previously Hill conducted post-doctoral work at the Institut für Philosophie at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main and served as a visiting lecturer at Amherst College.
Location: Hannah Arendt Center, Seminar Room
Time: 11:30 am
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