Arendt on Earth: From the Archimedean Point to the Anthropocene

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project takes the concept of Earth in the thought of Hannah Arendt as a frame, impetus, and
provocation to “think what we are doing” in a changing climate. It will bring together renowned and
emerging scholars for four small, intensive workshops on the themes of “Earth,” “Science and Technology,”
“Climate Change,” and “Politics,” with the aim of creating a space for collaboration and intellectual crossfertilization.
After a year’s hiatus during which participants pursue new connections and lines of thought
generated by the workshops, we will reconvene collectively in Fall 2020 to share our work in a public
conference. The project’s purpose is not only to foster deep interpretive engagement with Arendt’s writing,
but to envision how the humanities can contribute to public comprehension of the interconnected crises that
threaten to overwhelm us. “Comprehension,” Arendt wrote, “means examining and bearing consciously the
burden which our century has placed on us—neither denying its existence or submitting weakly to its weight.
Comprehension, in short, means the unpremeditated, attentive facing up to, and resisting of, reality—
whatever it may be.” This is the work of the humanities that we hope to further.
Effective start/end date1/1/188/31/21


  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (079528-16851 // 41500610)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (079528-16851 // 41500610)


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