Virtual Reading Group

A thoughtful and spirited exploration of the works of Hannah Arendt, held regularly online, and led by Director Roger Berkowitz and Assistant Director Samantha Hill

This summer, the VRG will be reading selections from The Life of the Mind; Thinking.

From the publisher:
The author’s final work, presented in a one-volume edition, is a rich, challenging analysis of man’s mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging. Edited by Mary McCarthy; Indices.

Save 20% when you purchase the book from our friends at Oblong Books & Music. Use coupon code ARENDT19 at checkout. 
Buy the book here.

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

The VRG continues this summer with The Life of the Mind, by Hannah Arendt

Discussions on select Fridays at 1pm (UTC-4) for 60-90 minutes.

The Life of the Mind; Thinking – “Appearance” and “Mental Activities in a World of Appearances”
June 7:  Introduction, The World’s Phenomenal Nature, (True) Being and (Mere) Appearance: the Two World Theory

June 21:  The Reversal of the Metaphysical Hierarchy: the Value of the Surface, Body and Soul; Soul and Mind, Appearance and Semblance

June 28:  The Thinking Ego and the Self: Kant, Reality and the Thinking Ego: the Cartesian Doubt and the Senses Communis, Science and Common Sense; Kant’s Distinction Between Intellect and Reason; Truth and Meaning

July 12:  Invisibility and Withdrawal, The Intramural Warfare Between Thought and Common Sense

July 26:  Thinking and Doing: the Spectator, Language and Metaphor

Aug 6:  Metaphor and the Ineffable
Additional Information
Moderator Background
Periodically, the center will distribute a video introduction to the text by Roger Berkowitz, Founder and Director of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College. Members will be notified within the VRG email when video introductions are available. 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.