Virtual Reading Group

Hannah Arendt Center members at all levels are eligible to participate in a monthly reading group led by Roger Berkowitz, Director of the Hannah Arendt Center.

Our 12-week series focused on The Origins of Totalitarianism begins Friday, January 20th at 1pm.

Participation is free for Hannah Arendt Center Members and Bard students. For non-members, join us HERE and receive monthly invitations to participate in our Virtual Reading Group. All meetings will be recorded and available to members following each discussion. View the full schedule and more information on the VRG below.

Virtual Reading Group

A Special 12-week reading of Hannah Arendt's 1951 book, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Discussions will be every Friday at 1pm UTC-5 (except for 02/17 & 03/24) for one hour, with introductory media provided prior to each discussion.


01/20    Preface to the First Edition
01/27    Pt. 1: Antisemitism, Ch. 1-4, Pages xi-xvi, 3-10; 11-28; 54-68; 79-88; 106-117
02/03    Pt. 2: Imperialism - The Political Emancipation of the Bourgeoisie, Ch. 5
02/10    Pt. 2: Imperialism - Race-Thinking Before Racism, and Imperialism: Race and Bureaucracy, Ch. 6-7
02/24    Pt. 2: Imperialism - Continental Imperialism: The Pan Movements, Ch. 8
03/03    Pt. 2: Imperialism - The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man, Ch. 9
03/10    Pt. 3: Totalitarianism - A Classless Society, Ch. 10
03/17    Pt. 3: Totalitarianism - The Totalitarian Movement, Ch. 11
04/07    Pt. 3: Totalitarianism - Totalitarianism in Power, Ch. 12
04/14    Pt. 3: Totalitarianism - Ideology and Terror, Ch. 13
Additional Information

Additional Information

Before each session we will distribute a video introduction to the text by Roger Berkowitz, Founder and Director of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College. Berkowitz specializes in teaching and illuminating the ways Arendt's thinking impacts our present world. In addition to hundreds of essays and articles, Berkowitz is author of The Gift of Science, and editor of Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics, The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis, as well as the recently published Artifacts of Thinking: Reading Hannah Arendt's Denktagebuch. He is the editor of HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center.
How the Virtual Reading Group Works

How the Virtual Reading Group Works

Members at all levels may sign up to become part of our monthly Virtual Reading Group. We read one essay or one book at a time and aim to read between 20-50 pages per session. The group moves slowly to allow members to read small bits of text carefully.

  1. Become a Hannah Arendt Center member to join the Virtual Reading Group.
  2. Download the BlueJeans app.
  3. Follow the meeting URL from our weekly email to access the meeting at the scheduled time.

Meetings take place at 1:00 pm UTC-5 on Friday of every week via the video conferencing platform, BlueJeans. Once you sign up, you'll begin receiving weekly video introductions to the text from our Director, Roger Berkowitz. Following each discussion, the session is saved and recorded, and available to all VRG members. Also, when you become a member and would like to view any of our past sessions, we'll send you links to the recordings! For questions and to enroll in our Virtual Reading Group, please email

Become A Member

Please consider joining the Hannah Arendt Center if you haven’t already to take advantage of this exciting opportunity!


Reading History

The Virtual Reading Group began with Arendt’s The Human Condition over a 12 month period. We then read and discussed her essay “We Refugees”, along with "Tradition and The Modern Age," "Preface: The Gap Between Past and Future" and "The Crisis in Education," all essays from Between Past and Future; "Reflections on Little Rock" from Responsibility and Judgment, "Lying in Politics," "Civil Disobedience," "Thoughts on Politics and Revolution," and "On Violence" (all four from Crises of the Republic).