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Amor Mundi 10/26/14

In this week's Amor Mundi, we examine the portrait of Edward Snowden director Laura Poitras paints in her new film "Citizenfour," dig deep into the criticism revolving around the NY Metropolitan Opera's production of "The Death of Klinghoffer," meditate on why the Hong Kong protesters will not give up their fight for democracy, and much more. Posted on 27 October 2014 | 11:30 am

Amor Mundi 4/27/14

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither…Read more Amor Mundi 4/27/14 Posted on 28 April 2014 | 12:01 pm

Reading With Your Computer

Franco Moretti is a literature professor, and founder of the Stanford Literary Lab, who believes in something called “computational criticism,” that is, the ability of computers to aid in the understanding of literature. Joshua Rothman’s recent profile of Moretti has provoked a lot of response, most of it defending traditional literary criticism from the digital…Read more Reading With Your Computer Posted on 2 April 2014 | 12:16 pm

The Unproductive Labor of Politics: Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith

Richard Halpern, “Eclipse of Action: Hamlet and the Political Economy of Playing,” Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 59, Number 4, Winter 2008, pp. 450-482 As he formulates an original response to the classic problem of Hamlet’s non-action, Halpern offers one of the few critical analyses of Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith in The Human Condition. He shows…Read more The Unproductive Labor of Politics: Arendt’s reading of Adam Smith Posted on 22 January 2014 | 1:13 pm

The False Culture of Utility

“Culture is being threatened when all worldly objects and things, produced by the present or the past, are treated as mere functions for the life process of society, as though they are there only to fulfill some need, and for this functionalization it is almost irrelevant whether the needs in question are of a high…Read more The False Culture of Utility Posted on 23 September 2013 | 11:57 am

Can We Survive Entertainment?

“The state of affairs, which indeed is equaled nowhere else in the world, can properly be called mass culture; its promoters are neither the masses nor their entertainers, but are those who try to entertain the masses with what once was an authentic object of culture, or to persuade them that Hamlet can be as…Read more Can We Survive Entertainment? Posted on 12 August 2013 | 11:39 am

For the Sake of What is New

“Exactly for the sake of what is new and revolutionary in every child, education must be conservative; it must preserve this newness and introduce it as a new thing into an old world.” -Hannah Arendt, The Crisis in Education In the central and perhaps most provocative passage of her essay on The Crisis in Education…Read more For the Sake of What is New Posted on 28 January 2013 | 12:33 pm

Education in a Transitory World

“Basically we are always educating for a world that is or is becoming out of joint, for this is the basic human situation, in which the world is created by mortal hands to serve mortals for a limited time as home.” -Hannah Arendt,  Between Past and Future Facing the command of the ghost, Hamlet laments…Read more Education in a Transitory World Posted on 6 February 2012 | 12:15 pm

“Downton Abbey”, a “Crisis in Culture”?

Everyone, so I am told, is watching and talking about “Downton Abbey.” It is a TV show, for those living under a bigger rock than I am. So the other day I asked the person charged with keeping me alive to the real world why the show was so compelling. The answer arrived in my…Read more “Downton Abbey”, a “Crisis in Culture”? Posted on 13 January 2012 | 3:07 pm