John Douglas Macready considers the importance of Arendt’s analysis of loneliness as the fertile ground for totalitarian and ideological politics. The widespread anxiety over the global eruption of right-wing populism, which was exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and the succeeding four years of his presidency, produced a renewed interest in the political theory of Hannah Arendt,
While her personal library is at Bard College, Hannah Arendt left her personal papers to the Library of Congress. For years those papers have been available in-person at the library and, in part, over the web via an outdated, clunky, and incomplete digital interface. This week the Library of Congress launched its new website for the Hannah Arendt Papers.
We are living at a time when any action that one disagrees with leads not to a discussion and engagement but to a complaint and a demand for punishment. This is especially true at the top universities in the country. Disagreements that should be fodder for intellectual growth are now opportunities to exert power and punish one’s perceived enemies.
Foucault was the most influential critical thinker and philosopher when I was in college in the 1980s. In the 1990s at Berkeley, the ghost of Foucalt loomed large at the cafes he was rumored to have frequented in the 1960s. For nearly half a century, Foucault’s thinking has been at the forefront of academic life in the humanities and social sciences. But that may be changing.
Philip Roth and Hannah Arendt are buried but two meters from each other in the Bard College Cemetery. Two of the greatest Jewish intellectuals and writers of the 20th century, Arendt fled Nazi Germany. Roth, as Corey Robin writes, “fled his parents and kept going home.” In an essay on Roth and Arendt, Robin begins on their shared propensity to challenge the Jewish consensus, to bring a critical eye to bear on their own people.