Events | Hannah Arendt Conference

Los Angeles | 9. November 2013 – 10. November 2013

What is Politics?
A conference on Hannah Arendt 
Organized by Villa Aurora in cooperation with The Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College, Annandale on Hudson.
Concept: Marie Luise Knott

 The time is out of joint, oh cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right. - (William Shakespeare)

The German-Jewish-American thinker Hannah Arendt, born in Hannover, exiled to Paris and later to New York, dedicated her work to the reinvention of the public realm and to freedom in political action. When she died in 1975, The New Yorker wrote in his obituary: “Some days ago Hannah Arendt died, at the age of sixty-nine. We felt a tremor, as if some counterweight to all the world’s unreason and corruption had been removed.”

Arendt, who had learned to think with Martin Heidegger, Plato, Kurt Blumenfeld, Rosa Luxemburg, Immanuel Kant, Rahel Varnhagen, Karl Jaspers and Walter Benjamin was expelled from Germany in 1933 and from Europe in 1940. She found her way into the Anglo-American world through her dialog with thinkers and poets like Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Jefferson, Emily Dickinson and W.H. Auden.

The early experience of worldlessness that totalitarian movements press upon every human being threatened her and later formed her work; it also underlies the specific urgency of her question: Can we succeed in reconstituting a world that is “out of joint,” is it possible “to set it right,” and might we find new ways of human involvement in the unfolding of the world.

Arendt’s work confronted race violence, discrimination, the experience of revolution, of  town councils, and other forms of direct political representation. For Arendt, civil disobedience sustains democracy by interrupting the automatism of state authorities. To empower the right of citizens to dissent from civil government and to join together in collective acts of civil disobedience, she even suggested including the right to civil disobedience as a constitutional amendment. 

Today, as in the 1960s, the ideas of this woman philosopher inspire theoretical debates as well as civil political initiatives. There is no claim of a Judeo-European-American symbiosis, but the conference in Villa Aurora will explore the influence of her European-American experience and the particular importance of transcultural exchange in Arendt’s theory of political action.


The event at Villa Aurora on November 9th, 2013 is free of charge.
RSVPs are required at 310 454 42 31 or

Villa Aurora
520 Paseo Miramar
Los Angeles, CA 90272

Street parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service starts
at 9:00 a.m. from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks
North-East of Pacific Coast Highway.
Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

For information on the event at Skirball Cultural Center
on November 10th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
please check:

Foto: © Fred Stein