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Tuesday, July 16 2019 since 1997 Summer Semester 2019


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Previous Guests

These speakers visited Humboldt-University in order to be guest of the Mosse-Lectures.

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Languages of the Political in Literature and Art

The loss of trust in representative democracy and its institutions combined with multimedia disinformation campaigns nurtures the desire for active democracy and good government beyond elections: active in negotiating its own contradictions and conflicts and focused on demands for social justice and cultural identity. In contrast to politics, literature and art can articulate what Wittgenstein once called ‘the environment in which an interchange takes place’: the ‘political’ located in particularity and difference, in everyday perception and behavior. Individual experiences and events find expression in images, in body language, which addresses something intangible that can be thought or felt without being fully available. The agenda proposed by literature and art does not get exhausted in critique or compensation of prevailing Realpolitik. Beyond privileged knowledge, it rather invokes proximity to everyday experiences of alienation and discrimination, which produce gestures of rebellion and resistance, as Georges Didi-Huberman has called up in art and photography. In the current literature on memory and experience, in the narratives of Édouard Louis, writing itself becomes a site of violence and reading turns to a disturbing encounter with the unbearable and the unsayable. Interactive artistic experiments in public space destabilize self-evident and self-assured habits and convictions. The anti-capitalist investigations and interventions in the art world itself (Maria Eichhorn’s Documenta projects) find special attention. Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory with its thesis that art is both autonomous and fait social gains a new purchase today, in Juliane Rebentisch’s discussion of the political in the practices of performances and exhibitions.

The MOSSE-LECTURES at the Humboldt University in Berlin are a cooperation of:


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Werkstätten der Zukunft. Berlin, 2018

Hendrik Blumentrath, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors: Aleida Assmann, Eva Horn, Bruno Latour, Thomas Lemke, Stefan M. Maul, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kathrin Röggla, and Joseph Vogl.

Mosse Almanach 2017. Berlin, 2017

Elisabeth Wagner (Ed.)

Summarizes and documents the scientific and public activity of the Mosse-Lectures with over 170 lectures in twenty years.

Konversionen. Berlin, 2016

Ulrike Vedder, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Sarah Stroumsa, Stefan Weidner, Christoph Peters, Klaus Briegleb, Thomas Macho, Eric Porath, Hans Joas and Stephen Greenblatt. Illustrations by James Turell.

Literarische Nachbarschaften. Berlin, 2016

Lothar Müller, Klaus R. Scherpe (Eds.)

Contributors Brigitte Kronauer, Reinhard Jirgl, Lutz Seiler, Colm Toibin, and Vladimir Sorokin, commented by Lothar Müller und Klaus Scherpe.

Europa in anderen Kulturen. Berlin, 2015

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Sebastian Conrad, Dan Diner, Wang Hui, Andreas Huyssen, William Kentridge, Jürgen Osterhammel, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elisabeth Wagner and Georg Witte.

Staatsbürgerschaft. Berlin, 2012

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Étienne Balibar, Norbert Lammert, Philip D. Murphy, Dieter Gosewinkel, Ayelet Shachar, Samantha Besson, Aaron Ezrahi, Moshe Zimmermann, Anja Streiter, Guillermo Kuitca, commented by Elisabeth Wagner.

Korruption. Berlin, 2011

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors Maria Eichhorn, Stephan A. Jansen, Herfried Münkler, Ivan Krastev, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Johann Graf Lambsdorff, Gunter Gebauer, Ines Geipel and Wolfgang Schild.

VerWertungen von Vergangenheit. Berlin, 2009

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors Elena Esposito, Harun Farocki, Andreas Huyssen, Anselm Kiefer, Christoph Ransmayr, Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler (†) and Elisabeth Wagner.

Odyssen. Berlin, 2008

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors: Walter Burkert, Piero Boitani, Klaus Reichert, Friedrich Kittler, Elisabeth Wagner and Burkhardt Wolf.

Kontinent Kafka. Berlin, 2005

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors: Walter H. Sokel, Elizabeth Boa, Gerhard Neumann, Detlef Kremer, Joseph Vogl, Klaus R. Scherpe, Benno Wagner, Elisabeth Wagner and Burkhardt Wolf

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