Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies
1155 East 60th Street, Room 302A
Chicago, IL 60637


Arendt in the Aufbau Workshop

Arendt in the Aufbau 

Monday, February 19, 9:30-5:30

University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street Building, Room 319


Hannah Arendt is known in different public and academic circles for different reasons: as the author of the controversial Eichmann in Jerusalem and a critic of Zionism and Israel; as a theorizer of the human condition of natality, and of narrative as a source of meaning; as a political thinker who probed concepts such as judgement, action, and revolution; or as a (not always insightful) commentator on American politics and race relations. Her biography is similarly diverse, leading from the German academic circles of Heidegger, Bultmann, and Jaspers in the 1920s, to Zionist activist circles in the 1930s and 1940s, to involvement in the politics of Jewish postwar cultural reconstruction and her work for the Schocken publishing house, to American Academia (including the University of Chicago, famously) in the 1950s and 1960s. One way to gage this diversity and consider its implications for her thinking and its reception is to consider the different languages and different venues in which she published. This workshop is part of a larger collaborative project that maps Arendt's multiple connections by using the lens of Periodical Studies. Our focus for this gathering will be Arendt's publications in the New York based German Language periodical Aufbau. We have selected five op-ed pieces that Arendt published in Aufbau in the early 1940s, and they are available with the full issues in which they appeared in the workshop reader. The workshop will run as a seminar discussion in which participants will present the different pieces and reflect on what we learn from reading them in context.



Workshop Schedule

9:30 am                      

Breakfast and Coffee

10:00 am–noon          

Na’ama Rokem           Opening Remarks

Amir Eshel                  “Moses oder Washington”

Matthew Handelman  “Des Teufels Redekunst”

Noon–1:00 pm


1:00–2:30 pm


Annette Vowinckel     “Die 'sogennante Jüdische Armee’”

Ariel Horowitz            “Can the Jewish Arab Question be Solved"

3:00–4:30 pm


Na'ama Rokem           “Die jüdischen Chancen: Geringe Aussichten - gespaltende Vertretung"

Thomas Wild             “From Hannah Arendt's Library: Books 1942–1944"

4:45–5:30 pm

            Final discussion


Sponsored by the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Germanic Studies, and the Department of Comparative Literature.