This was the 15th Documenta, and the most controversial. It was marred by charges of antisemitism which were returned with accusations of racism. I am not an artist and had never been to a Documenta. But I was particularly interested because I would be participating in Documenta 15 as part of the final installation by the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera and her Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR). The Arendt Center sponsored three talks throughout the week.
The pseudonymous N.S. Lyons provides 20 reasons why the woke revolution, for want of a better term, has a long way to run.
Who could have predicted that in 2021, in the midst of a pandemic, the Virtual Reading Group would become a centerpiece in the lives of Arendt readers around the world? Lifelong connections and friendships have been forged through the Arendt Center's efforts to bring people together to think about the most pressing issues in our political world. A brief history of the VRG.
Jay Caspian Kang believes in affirmative action and racial preferences. But when he dives into the Harvard case coming to the Supreme Court, Kang argues that Harvard’s approach to affirmative action reveals “a profoundly broken system that relies on obfuscation and misdirection, especially when it comes to the treatment of Asian applicants.”
Matt Beard reflects on the academic politics of the early 20th century- and the ideas of Weber and Arendt- in order to draw lessons for our own time, in which politics is infringing on questions of academic integrity.
When Roosevelt Montas immigrated to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic, he found a copy of Plato’s Dialogues in a garbage dump and took it home. It changed his life. Thomas Chatterton Williams writes on the importance of the classics for the underprivileged.
Rebecca Solnit asks why Republican voters keep believing the lies about the election told by Donald Trump. And to answer that question she turns to Hannah Arendt.
When asked by Günter Gaus what was irretrievably lost when she had to flee the Nazis and leave Germany and Europe behind, Hannah Arendt answered: “The Europe of the pre-Hitler period? I do not long for that, I can tell you. What remains? The language remains.” In a profile of the writer Lydia Davis, Wyatt Mason dives into this question of how knowing many languages changes and enriches a writer.
In her last book The Life of the Mind, Hannah Arendt writes that “thinking is out of order.” Thinking frees us from the world of appearances and allows us to think things beyond our common sense that we share with others. In this way, thinking is not about the pursuit of truth but it is, Arendt argues, about the pursuit of meaning. Thomas Bartscherer meditates on Arendt’s characterization of thinking as out of order.