Judgment in Extremis: A Conference Inspired by the 50th Anniversary of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, 16 and 17 May 2013, at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry
Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, based on a series of articles for The New Yorker, was published in 1963. An account of the trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organisers of the Holocaust, the essay provoked enormous controversy. Objections were made to Arendt's diagnosis of the "banality of evil" and to her view of the structures of complicity that facilitated the perpetration of the Nazi genocide. This conference considers the legacy of Arendt's analysis. Do her conclusions hold? What are the resonances of her claims today for a philosophical and legal confrontation with extreme instances of human destructiveness and wrongdoing? Guest speakers are: Roger Berkowitz, Jay Bernstein, Seyla Benhabib, Barbara Hahn, Gerd Hankel, Wolfgang Heuer, David Kishik, Christoph Menke, Andreas Nachama, Gaby Weber, Annette Weinke.
A series of seminars for students will be held at ECLA preparatory to the conference. The event continues the tradition of yearly public conferences with invited guests on topics of pressing real-world political importance related to the key questions of ECLA’s liberal arts programs in Value Studies. Previous themes have included: EU Enlargement: Cultural Issues and Implications (2005); New Forms of War (2006); Social Entrepreneurship (2007); Water (2008); The Politics of Cultural Ownership (2009); The Translator (2010); What Shall We Eat? (2011); Censorship (2012).