Centre Launch: Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics
|Mo 07-10-2019 15:00 - 18:00
|Room 1314.0014, Harmonie building
Please join us for the launch of the new Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics on October 7, 15:00-18:00h in room 1314.0014 (under the arches).
We will have two inaugural lectures, followed by a reception in the Weber Foyer.
Caroline Levine is David and Kathleen Ryan Chair of the Humanities and Picket Family Chair of the Department of English at Cornell University. She’s the author of three books: The Serious Pleasures of Suspense (2003), Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007), and Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015). She’s also an editor of the Norton Anthology of World Literature. Prof. Levine will talk about "Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conversation" (see abstract below).
Lars Rensmann is Professor of European Politics and Society, Chair of the Department of European Languages and Cultures and Co-Director of the new Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics at the University of Groningen. He is the author and editor of 15 books, including The Politics of Unreason (SUNY Press 2017) and Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture (Princeton 2010, with Andrei S. Markovits). He will talk about "False Prophets’ Comeback: Leo Lowenthal’s Analysis of Authoritarian Agitators and the Foundations of a Critical Theory of Populism" (see abstract below).
As a pledge to our mission of promoting research that is both excellent and ecologically sound, we have invited Prof. Levine deliver her lecture via Skype.
We hope to see you there!
Caroline Levine: "Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conversation" (Skype lecture)
Literary and cultural studies have long prized moments of rupture and resistance. But as neoliberal economics undoes prospects of secure work, and as fossil fuels radically disrupt longstanding ecosystems, it seems increasingly clear that we need not more radical disruption but more stability.
This talk asks how we might best support and sustain collective life over time. It turns to the tools of formalist analysis to sketch out some arrangements of space and time, some organizations of power and resources, some patterns of distribution and conservation, that are more supportive of the common good than others. It turns to forms we’ve often mistrusted or dismissed—forms of the everyday that keep life going over time and so have been called conservative — to articulate an aesthetics of building and making for a sustainable future.
Lars Rensmann: "False Prophets’ Comeback: Leo Lowenthal’s Analysis of Authoritarian Agitators and the Foundations of a Critical Theory of Populism"
In light of the rise of populist actors around the globe, the Frankfurt School’s multi-layered political analysis and theorizing of authoritarian agitators has lately found renewed interest within political theory and political science. However, the long forgotten work of the German-American political sociologist and émigré Leo Lowenthal, one of the founding fathers of the ‘inner circle’ of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, has still mostly been overlooked in current scholarship.
The lecture argues that Lowenthal’s research and models on authoritarianism demagogues—their politico-cultural production and the societal, economic and socio-psychological conditions that enable them—still provides important resources for understanding the reemergence of authoritarian politics in today’s age of an increasingly post-liberal and post-factual democracy.