Bold and Provocative Thinking. Together.
HAC Annual Conference, Racism and Antisemitism
From The Origins of Totalitarianism to The Crises in Little Rock, Arendt’s thinking on race is controversial and has often led many to quickly dismiss her thoughts on race and antisemitism entirely. The Hannah Arendt Center’s 12th annual conference on “Racism and Antisemitism” explored these oft shunned concepts in Arendt’s work in the context of our contemporary political moment, which is marked by antisemitic and racist violence.
HAC Annual Conference, Citizenship and Civil Disobedience
The outbreak of civil disobedience today manifests the fraying of a consensus around questions of economic and racial equality as well as social discrimination, immigration, and the uses of American power abroad. So many various minorities are dissenting from the established way of doing things that we ask whether there is still something that holds our diverse and divergent nation together. In raising the questions of citizenship and civil disobedience the Hannah Arendt Center’s 11th annual conference on asked if and how a new democratic American ideal can emerge.
HAC Annual Conference, Crises of Democracy: Thinking in Dark Times
Democracy is weakened when citizens are encouraged to hand over the time-consuming work of self-government to professional politicians. Arendt was continuously critical of representative models of democracy that rely upon experts in place of participation, which is why she rooted the crisis of democracy in the dissipation of public power. The crisis facing democratic regimes today is cause for serious concern; it is also an opportunity for deep reflection on questions and assumptions concerning liberal representative democracy. Instead of assuming a defensive posture and taking up arms to defend the status quo, our conference asks: How can we take advantage of this crisis to make democracy stronger?
HAC Annual Conference, REAL TALK: Difficult Questions about Race, Sex and Religion
Students, faculty, and administrators across the country, however, are questioning whether colleges are safe spaces for talking about difficult and divisive issues. As campuses become more diverse, can colleges and universities confront issues surrounding racial, sexual, gender-based, and religious discrimination or harassment without limiting free and open discourse and a diversity of ideas? How can colleges maintain safe spaces for difficult and contested thinking while honoring their unshakable commitment to justice and equality?
HAC Annual Conference, Why Privacy Matters
Reading on Kindles, searching Google, and using cell phones, we leave a data trail of intimate details. Governments and businesses track our comings, goings, and doings. Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, speaks for many when he says, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” It is easy to note the violence of the slogan “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” but few offer an intelligent response. Why do we willfully participate in the loss of our privacy? How is it that we rarely register its loss? Do we simply value privacy less? It is time to ask why privacy matters?
HAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE, THE UNMAKING OF AMERICANS: ARE THERE STILL AMERICAN VALUES WORTH FIGHTING FOR?
“The Unmaking of Americans” asked what aspirations and which dreams still animate American idealism. Americans must confront the weakening of a collective vision of freedom and equality. And yet few dare to articulate a collective vision that might hold the country together. America has long imagined itself a “city upon a hill.” Yet, we confront a weakening of our collective vision.
HAC Annual Conference, Truthtelling: Democracy in an Age Without Facts
Without a shared factual world, we cannot talk, argue, or disagree with others; we are left with nothing to do but talk to those with whom we already agree. In a world without facts, we risk undermining the venture of politics as Arendt understood it: to create together a common world, one as unruly, disorderly, and argumentative as such togetherness demands. The Hannah Arendt Center’s 11th annual conference conference addressed the predicaments of truth in our age and thought creatively and deeply about what place, if any, the role of common truths must have in our future.
HAC ANNUAL CONFERENCE, HUMAN BEING IN AN INHUMAN AGE
After 2,000 years in which human intelligence has increasingly fabricated and cultivated our world, that world is, for better or for worse, increasingly governed by inhuman rationality. “Human Being in an Inhuman Age" brought together artists, technologists, businesspeople, academics, and public intellectuals to explore questions like: Will Man Be Able to Control and Direct the Advance of Science? Do Robots and Technology in War, Medicine, and Art Threaten Humanity? What Do the Loss of the Humanities and Rise of On-Line Education Portend? Is Virtual Reality De-Humanizing?
HAC Annual Conference, Burden of Our Times, The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis
The avalanche of commentary on the financial crisis has offered technical analysis, political finger pointing, and a myriad of economic and political solutions. But rarely have these investigations reached beyond the economic and political causes of the crisis to explore their underlying intellectual grounds. That was the effort of Bard’s conference. Political and social thinkers, economists, businessmen, and public intellectuals, following Hannah Arendt’s approach, sought to comprehend the philosophical as well as the economic and cultural origins of the present world crisis.