Intensive Graduate Seminar invites to rediscover Politics, Mysticism and Hope


The seminar invites Ph.D. and M.A. students in various fields of cultural research and philosophy to participate in an interdisciplinary study group of 20-30 students. The two-day intensive seminar will take place on November 12-13, 2010, Tallinn University, Estonia. Upon full participation in the study programme and completion of an essay students will be awarded 2 ECTS points.  Accommodation and travel costs will be reimbursed. Deadline for application – August 31, 2010.

This intensive seminar will begin with the question of how mystical hopes have informed political theories in the 20th century, and how mystical (or more broadly religious) impulses in key thinkers have been read and interpreted with „blindness and insight.“ At stake in the seminar, both explicitly and implicitly, is how to theorize „hope.“

Students are expected to do preparatory reading in order to participate in the discussions.  The readings in this two-day seminar will be from the writings of Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and Giorgio Agamben. With different degrees of „mystical temper“ or deliberate commitment to the secular, the cultural-religious heritage of each of these thinkers shaped the fibre of their thought—as well as the form of its articulation, as in the use of aphoristic or fragmentary forms.

In the company of four professors from Estonia and one invited speaker, students will engage in close reading and analysis based on a working paper they will submit one week before the seminar.

The language of the seminar is English.

When applying please by August 31, 2010, send to
– a motivation letter explaining why you wish to participate in this seminar (200-300 words)
– short CV (not needed for GSCSA students)
You will be notified of the acceptance of your contribution by September 15, 2010.

A course fee is not required; the accommodation and travel costs of the students of GSCSA and GBS will be reimbursed. Accommodation will be arranged by the organizers, travel details will be provided for the participants.

For more information please see the invitation to the seminar.

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