Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Practical Philosophy, Social Philosophy & Center for Human Studies and Social Change - Rahel Jaeggi

Events & Workshops 2019

 

12.12.19: Critical Theory in context:
RE-THINKING SOCIALISM

Against the background of failed state socialisms and the crisis of socialism in Latin America, the term “socialism” was long frowned upon when it came to discussing current political and social problems. At present, however, in Western democracies the voices calling for a revival of socialist projects are becoming louder. In the mother countries of neoliberalism, the USA and Great Britain, politicians who openly plead for “democratic socialism” can mobilize broad masses in recent years. And there are also attempts in the academic world to initiate new debates on the concept of socialism. It is undisputed that any revival of the concept must critically reflect the history of real socialism. More controversial are the questions of how exactly a socialist future project should be understood and realized and which social areas it should cover. The answer to these questions determines what is meant by “socialism”.

How far-reaching are the societal transformations that are subsumed under the concept of socialism? Does a socialist future project essentially present itself as an alternative economic order? Or does the concept of socialism concern the deeper (moral) idea of an alternative understanding of freedom, which differs from that of liberalism? Is there even the idea of socialism or do we need manifold socialisms in order to initiate the path to a modernity based on solidarity?

We want to discuss these questions with Lea Ypi (London School of Economics), Giacomo Corneo (Freie Universität Berlin) and Michael Brie (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) on December 12, 2019 in Vierte Welt. The event is the prelude to a series of events on the topic of Re-Thinking Socialism, which we will continue in the coming semesters.

 

Location:
Vierte Welt
Adalbertstraße 4, Berlin
Galerie I. OG

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 12 December 2019

5.-6.12.19: Critical Theory at work:
Workshop 50 Years on: New Readings of Adorno

At the Adorno Conference in Frankfurt 2003 Axel Honneth spoke of a “dramatic departure” from Adorno’s theory and lamented the lack of a “vital, exciting research milieu”. This is no longer the case today. New readings of Adorno made his thoughts fruitful for contemporary systematic debates.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Adorno’s death this year, we are organizing an international workshop that will bring together representatives of these new readings. Together we want to discuss how, by going back to Adorno, we can deepen contemporary debates in the philosophy of language, moral and social philosophy.

With our workshop we want to follow Adorno’s example by connecting topics of social philosophy with epistemological and aesthetic questions. In this way, we not only want to do justice to the complexity of Adorno’s thinking, but also counteract the constrictions of an increasingly specialized philosophical landscape.

With contributions from Jay Bernstein, Julia Christ, Fabian Freyenhagen, Katia Genel, Agnès Grivaux, Antonia Hofstätter, Philip Hogh, Bastian Ronge, Arvi Särkelä.

Registration is required to participate in the workshop. Unfortunately, the number of available seats is limited. Please register by November 3 at workshops.sozialphilosophie@hu-berlin.de. The workshop papers will be made available to all registered and admitted participants.

 

Location: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin, Lichthof (EG)

05.07.19: Critical Theory Roundtable:
Crisis of Democracy or Crisis of Reason?

With Andrew Arato (New School for Social Research, New York), Jean Cohen (Columbia University, New York), Fabian Freyenhagen (University of Essex), Regina Kreide (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) and Frederick Neuhouser (Columbia University). Moderated by Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). Organized by the Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research. 

Democracy is in crisis. Phenomena such as the electoral success of authoritarian leaders as well as the growing distrust in public institutions and media certify this. But what are the underlying reasons for such developments? Is this crisis democracy’s own crisis, or does it originate elsewhere in the social order?

In the early Frankfurt School, analyses of regressive tendencies aimed at tracing political pathologies back to underlying social contradictions, questioning the very compatibility of liberal democracy and late capitalism. Irrationality, as well as reason itself, was attributed not just to individual persons, but also to their collective way of organizing life.

But what does it mean to speak of actual and potential reason in society? Where would it be located and how can we assess it? Is it already actualized within modern institutions, and if not, then which kind of transformations would bring it about?

 

Location: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin, Senatssaal.

 

July 1st - 6th 2019: International Critical Summer School. Democracy and Social Unreason.

Democracy is in crisis. Various phenomena such as the electoral success of authoritarian leaders, distrust in public institutions and media, rising social tensions, neo-nationalism and reactionary family politics certify this. But what are the underlying reasons for such developments? Is this crisis democracy’s own crisis, or does it originate elsewhere in the social order?

In the early Frankfurt School, analyses of regressive tendencies aimed at tracing political pathologies back to underlying social contradictions, questioning the very compatibility of liberal democracy and late capitalism. Even critiques of individual aspects, such as the authoritarian character, were primarily meant to criticize the societies which produce such effects. Irrationality, as well as reason itself, was attributed not just to individual persons, but also to their collective way of organizing life.

But what does it mean to speak of actual and potential reason in society? The idea originated in Hegel’s reconstruction of ethical life and influenced later materialist and sociologist theories of society, which located rationality in societal differentiation, cooperation and integration. However, both the assumption of a systemic cohesion of society in its totality and the ideal of a fully rational order are theoretically demanding and have on various occasions been questioned by critical theorists themselves.

In the face of evident unreason, a new assessment of our frameworks for theorizing modern societies and their ensuing criteria for rationality seems pressing and can draw from the strengths of both social and political analyses. Besides classics such as Hegel, Marx, Durkheim, Horkheimer and Adorno we will study contributions by leading contemporary theorists of democracy and society, several of which will be present as instructors.

The summer school will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, smaller group discussions and panel debates. Only the latter will be open to the broader public.

 

June 17th-19th 2019: Benjamin-Lectures
Democracy and It's Crisis
6.00 pm – 8.00 pm
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin,
Emil-Fischer-Hörsaal,
Hessische Str. 1–2, 10115 Berlin
 

This June, the Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin will launch its new event format, the annual Walter-Benjamin-Lectures. The Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor inaugurates the prominent series. In a sequence of three evening lectures (June 17th to 19th), Taylor will address “Democracy and its Crises”, covering various forms of democratic deterioration, such as political alienation, increasing inequality, xenophobia and polarization, as well as possible ways out of crisis.

Charles Taylor is one of the most profound thinkers of our age. His early work on the embeddedness of cognition in the life-world demarcated a paradigm shift in the epistemology of social science. Guided by his novel reading of Hegel, Taylor subsequently embarked on an extraordinary research program: to elucidate and overcome the contradictions of modernity in the light of modernity’s own development, drawing out its limitations and imbalances. This project is laid out in two monumental monographs, one on the history of the self and one on secularization. More recently, Taylor has brought the motif of obscured social grounds to bear on questions of democratic politics. He has traced progressive trajectories, yet also started to analyze how the disavowal of shared values, imaginaries, and social relations unleashes destructive tendencies. The Benjamin-Lectures will assemble these investigations, combining a trenchant diagnosis of current threats to democracy with an encompassing philosophical picture of our time.

June 17th “Losing Faith in Democracy”
Respondent: Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin, Ireland).

June 18th “Resentment and Ethical Life”
Respondent: Patrizia Nanz (Universität Potsdam, Germany).

June 19th “Modern Anti-Communitarianism”
Respondent: Zhang Shuangli (Fudan University, China).

All three lectures take place in the Emil-Fischer-lecture hall at Humboldt-University, Berlin, at Hessische Strasse 1-2, each day at 6pm. There is no entry fee.

The Benjamin-Lectures are named after the Berlin-born philosopher Walter Benjamin and dedicated to his intellectual integrity and political commitment in the face of historical catastrophe. Here you can find more information on the format.

June 7th, 2019: Critical Theory Roundtable
Is There Another People?
June 7, 2019 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Senatssaal Unter den Linden 6.

 

Critical Theory Roundtable with Andrew Arato (New School for Social Research, New York), Jean Cohen (Columbia University, New York) and Oliver Marchart (Universität Wien). The event is organized by Rahel Jaeggi (Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin) and Victor Kempf (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

“The People” has become a central concept in political discourse again. All around the globe, movements are on the rise that attempt to reclaim popular sovereignty after decades of elitist government. The“populist moment” often comes along with exclusivist definitions of “the people” and phantasms of homogeneity and embodiment that openly attack the pluralist constitution of modern democracy. Accordingly, any reference to “the people” seems to be inherently repressive and thus deeply conflicting with aspirations of emancipatory politics, as many liberal analysts argue. However, there are also discourses that try to recuperate a revolutionary and subaltern meaning of “the people” and to free it from its nationalist and racist distortion. From this radical-democratic perspective that goes back to the “constituting power” of the French Revolution, constructing a polemical people from below is indispensable for countering both neoliberal expertocracy and authoritarian forms of populism.

The controversy about how to evaluate the concept of “the people” evolves around pressing political questions that are in need of further theoretical reflection. Is it possible to distinguish an emancipatory, inclusive and subaltern people from a reactionary, nationalist and exclusive one that is based on the privilege of identity? Or are both ways of defining the demos deeply entangled with each other, both historically and conceptually? How do radical-democratic notions of a subaltern and subversive people relate to issues of migration, human rights and deliberative democracy? Do they risk to just mirroring right-populist paradigms, repeating the antagonistic logic of identity in a more socialist manner? Or does the “negativistic” approach of constructing a people that speaks from a subaltern or counter-hegemonic position make a qualitative difference regarding the inclusiveness, plurality and foundation of political community?

Call for Papers:
International Critical Theory Summer School 2019.
Democracy and Social Unreason.

Democracy is in crisis. Various phenomena such as the electoral success of authoritarian leaders, distrust in public institutions and media, rising social tensions, neo-nationalism and reactionary family politics certify this. But what are the underlying reasons for such developments? Is this crisis democracy’s own crisis, or does it originate elsewhere in the social order?

In the early Frankfurt School, analyses of regressive tendencies aimed at tracing political pathologies back to underlying social contradictions, questioning the very compatibility of liberal democracy and late capitalism. Even critiques of individual aspects, such as the authoritarian character, were primarily meant to criticize the societies which produce such effects. Irrationality, as well as reason itself, was attributed not just to individual persons, but also to their collective way of organizing life.

But what does it mean to speak of actual and potential reason in society? The idea originated in Hegel’s reconstruction of ethical life and influenced later materialist and sociologist theories of society, which located rationality in societal differentiation, cooperation and integration. However, both the assumption of a systemic cohesion of society in its totality and the ideal of a fully rational order are theoretically demanding and have on various occasions been questioned by critical theorists themselves.

In the face of evident unreason, a new assessment of our frameworks for theorizing modern societies and their ensuing criteria for rationality seems pressing and can draw from the strengths of both social and political analyses. Besides classics such as Hegel, Marx, Durkheim, Horkheimer and Adorno we will study contributions by leading contemporary theorists of democracy and society, several of which will be present as instructors.

The summer school will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, smaller group discussions and panel debates. Only the latter will be open to the broader public.

To apply for participation, graduate students and junior scholars are invited to submit a precis of their take on core concerns of democracy, social pathologies and irrationality and a CV (each document 1 page max.).

The precis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions the applicants would contribute to our joint discussions.

Deadline for applications: March 15th 2019, by email to: CTsummerschool@hu- berlin.de

There is no fee for the Summer School, but participants have to fund their own travel, accommodation and catering.

Instructors: Andrew Arato (New School, NY), Jean Cohen (Columbia University), Fabian Freyenhagen (Essex University), Rahel Jaeggi (HU Berlin), Regina Kreide (Universität Gießen), Frederick Neuhouser (Columbia University, NY).

Organizers: Rahel Jaeggi, Eva von Redecker, Isette Schuhmacher, Susann Schmeißer (HSC/Humboldt-University Berlin) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research (Alice Crary).

You can download the Call for Participation here. FAQs will be available on our website shortly.

 

Events and Workshops 2018

 

December 17th-18th 2018: Critical Theory at Work
Workshop: Problems of Property

Property is a key institution both in the capitalist economy and in liberal political orders. Property law regulates access to material goods as well as symbolic status, it is seen as the foundation for personal liberty and political legitimacy, and it mediates our relation to the world of objects.

While many critical discussions concern the question of the distribution of goods, this workshop investigates problems arising with the specific form and function given to property in modernity.

How to account for the social ontology and societal function of property? What is the genealogy of the modern, Western understanding of property and which shifts can we observe in the present? How paradigmatic are notions of ownership to concepts of personhood and subjective rights? Could the emancipatory potential of property be preserved without prolonging the dispossession and domination implicated by it?

Speakers include: Carol Rose, Silke van Dyk, Daniel Loick, Bertram Lomfeld

Organized by: Rahel Jaeggi and Eva von Redecker (Center for Humanities and Social Change, Humboldt University Berlin)

Location: Humboldt University of Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin.

July 4th, 2018: Critical Theory in Context meet Berliner Korrespondenzen: Authorianims - Rule or Exception? Discussion with Seyla Benhabib and Zeynep Gambetti.

Moderation: Esra Kücük and Rahel Jaeggi

 

Maxim-Gorki-Theater. Am Festungsgraben 2, 10117 Berlin. Organized by the Center for Humanities and Social Change, HU Berlin, in cooperation with the Maxim-Gorki-Theater

 

 

25.-27.05.2018  International Conference "Emancipation"

Please click here for further information.

 

15.-20.07.2018  International Summer School Critical Theory 2018. 
Re-thinking Ideology

Why do people often accept, and even embrace, social and political conditions that seem to run counter to their own interests? How is it possible that we sometimes support forms of domination with our ways of behaving and thinking without intending or even realizing it? One answer to these questions refers to the notion of ideology. Ideologies are more or less coherent systems of practices and beliefs that shape how individuals relate to their social reality in ways that distort their understanding of what is wrong with that reality and thereby contribute to its reproduction.

The summer school will seek to clarify the meanings and theoretical roles of ideology, as the concept has been prominently developed from the writings of Marx via Critical Theory in the tradition of the Frankfurt School to more recent debates in feminism and analytic philosophy.

Key contemporary protagonists of ideology critique like Sally Haslanger, Robert Gooding-Williams, Axel Honneth, Alice Crary, Karen Ng, Titus Stahl, Robin Celikates, Martin Saar and Rahel Jaeggi will be present at the summer school and facilitate debates both of key texts from canonical authors and of their own systematic positions.

We will discuss questions such as: What is ideology and in which sense are ideologies false or deficient? How do ideologies come into existence and how do they function? On which basis and from which standpoint can ideologies be criticized? What is the continuing relevance of the notion of ideology for a critical understanding of our social and political reality and especially of phenomena such as racism, sexism, neoliberalism and right-wing populism? How does ideology critique compare to other modes of immanent criticism, such as genealogy, performative critique and rational reconstruction? And how can the significant methodological, theoretical and normative challenges to traditional understandings of ideology be addressed?

 

The summer school will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, smaller group discussions and panel debates in order to stimulate debates across paradigms.

To apply for participation, graduate students and junior scholars are invited to submit a precis of their take on core concerns of ideology critique and a CV (each document 1 page). The precis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions the applicants would bring to our joint discussions.

Deadline for applications: March 15th 2018, by email to: CTsummerschool@hu-berlin.de

There is no fee for the Summer School, but participants have to fund their own travel, accommodation and catering.
There will be some funds available for which international students without access to institutional reimbursement can apply in order to subsidize their travel costs.

Instructors: Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam), Alice Crary (Oxford/New School), Robert Gooding-Williams (Columbia), Sally Haslanger (MIT), Axel Honneth (Columbia/IfS), Rahel Jaeggi (HU Berlin), Karen Ng (Vanderbilt), Martin Saar (Goethe University Frankfurt), Titus Stahl (Groningen).

Organizers: Rahel Jaeggi, Eva von Redecker, Isette Schuhmacher (Humboldt University Berlin), Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam), Martin Saar (Goethe University, Frankfurt) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research.

 

Call for Papers