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.

In 2017 alone, we completed readings of On RevolutionBetween Past and Future, and The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Our current texts are titled "Kennedy and After," "Nathalie Sarraute," and "'As If Speaking to a Brick Wall': A Conversation with Joachim Fest," from the new collection of essays, Thinking Without a Banister: Essays in Understanding, 1953-1975, available now from Penguin Random House.

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

Virtual Reading Group

Our Virtual Reading Group continues with a new collection of Arendt's essays.

Discussions occur every other Friday at 1pm (UTC-4) for 60-90 minutes.

The schedule is as follows:
March 9th - "Karl Marx and the Tradition of Western Political Thought" from Thinking Without a Banister
March 30th - "The Great Tradition" from Thinking Without a Banister
April 13th - "Authority in the Twentieth Century" from Thinking Without a Banister
April 27th - "Letter to Robert M. Hutchins," "Challenges to Traditional Ethics: A Response to Michael Polanyi," "Reflections on the 1960 National Conventions: Kennedy vs. Nixon" from Thinking Without a Banister
May 11th - "The Hungarian Revolution and Totalitarian Imperialism" from Thinking Without a Banister
May 25th - "Totalitarianism," and "Culture and Politics" from Thinking Without a Banister
June 15th - "Action and the 'Pursuit of Happiness'" from Thinking Without a Banister
July 13th - "Kennedy and After," "Nathalie Sarraute," and "'As If Speaking to a Brick Wall': A Conversation with Joachim Fest" from Thinking Without a Banister
September 14th - "Freedom and Politics, a Lecture" from Thinking Without a Banister
Additional Information

Moderator Background

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 other 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 the entirety of Between Past and Future; "Reflections on Little Rock" from Responsibility and JudgmentCrises of the Republic, and On Revolution. We also completed a 13-week, 10-session series discussing The Origins of Totalitarianism.