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Led by Dr. Sinéad Hogan, the ‘Hannah Arendt, Art and Thinking’ reading group met once a month to discuss the work of political theorist Hannah Arendt. Arendt identified a ‘crisis of culture’ as being intimately related to a ‘crisis in thinking’; therefore, this reading group aimed to engage with what might be the relationship between Hannah Arendt, Art and Thinking?

The role of the aesthetic imagination as a political act was a key focus for the political theorist Hannah Arendt. While she rarely wrote about artworks her thinking sought to link the ‘public sphere’ as a ‘space of appearances’ to sense and the aesthetic imagination. How might we read Arendt’s interest in judgment as a form of political thinking that draws on the work of art?

The reading group was open to anyone with an interest in the work of Hannah Arendt, in particular artists, curators, cultural and political theorists, art critics, and those with an interest in the role of art and aesthetics as a tension between the public and private spheres.

To keep connected with our audience, we are also exploring the potential to host virtual reading groups and further details will be available on our website in the Autumn.

Further resources:

Hannah Arendt Centre for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

Hannah Arendt Centre Virtual Reading Group

Find full details here.

Indicative Programme

Preparatory Reading: ‘Prologue’ and Chapter 1 ‘ Vita Activa and the Human Condition’, in The Human Condition, University of Chicago Press, 1998, pp 1-21

Preparatory Reading: Chapter 7 ‘The Public Realm: The Common’, in The Human Condition, University of Chicago Press, 1998,

Preparatory listening: Hannah Arendt “Zur Person” Full Interview (with English subtitles):

Preparatory Reading: Chapter 6, ‘The Crisis of Culture’ in Between Past and Future: six exercises in political thought, The Viking Press, New York, 1961.

Preparatory Reading: Chapter 3, ‘What makes us Think?’, in The Life of the Mind,

Preparatory reading to be chosen by the Reading Group.

Additional Resources

Group members are not required to purchase any materials for this series, however, a selection of the following resources might be useful to access prior to the commencement of sessions.

– BBC Radio 4, In Our Time on Hannah Arendt:
– Danielle Celemajer, ‘Hannah Arendt on Thinking and the Political,’ on PhilosophymOverdose:

– Hannah Arendt ‘Zur Person,’ full Interview (with English subtitles):

– Judith Butler, ‘Hannah Arendt, Ethics, and Responsibility’. 2009 1/10, European

Graduate School Lecture:

Hannah Arendt, The Promise of Politics, Edited and with an introduction by Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 2005.
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.
Hannah Arendt, (1958),The Human Condition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.
The Portable Hannah Arendt, Peter Baehr, Ed., Penguin Classics, 2000.
Hannah Arendt: The Last interview and other conversations, Melville House Publishing, 2003
Hannah Arendt, (1961), Between Past and Future; eight exercises in Political Thought, Penguin Classics, 2006
Hannah Arendt, (1951), The Origins of Totalitarianism, Penguin Books, 2017.

Reference Texts:
Cecilia Sjoholm, Doing Aesthetics with Arendt, Columbia University Press, 2015.

The Hannah Arendt Centre for Politics and Humanities, Bard, NY.

Additional Resources 


Additional Resources