Hans Blumenberg and the Theory of Political Myth

Hans Blumenberg and the Theory of Political Myth
Date
17 March 2018, 10.00am - 5.00pm
Type
Workshop
Venue
Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description

In recent years, the phenomenon of political myth has attracted increasing scholarly attention. In its wake, the concept of political myth has begun to establish itself as a relevant concept of political theory. The increasing interest in political myth seems to be related to the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary politics. Especially in the context of political rhetoric, identity politics and collective action, the theory of political myth has often proved to be a vital source of fresh and illuminating insights.

Since Chiara Bottici’s A Philosophy of Political Myth (2007), the theoretical framework of political myth has been successfully enriched by integrating seminal concepts from Hans Blumenberg’s theory of myth. Under the influence of Bottici’s work, recent theorists of political myth tend to underline, for instance, that one of the most important functions of political myths is to create ‘significance’. But what does it mean to create significance, as a specific dimension of political communication or political action? How do political myths construct collective identities and thereby affect political agency? Are political myths always nefarious and related to propaganda and misinformation, or might they have a legitimate use under some circumstances?

The workshop will focus on the importance of the work of Hans Blumenberg in relation to these questions and will offer close readings and interpretations of two recently published texts from the Blumenberg Nachlass: ‘Präfiguration’ (which deals with political myth and its relation to National Socialism) and ‘Moses der Ägypter’ (which examines the use of political myth in relation to the trial of Adolf Eichmann), and include lectures on Blumenberg’s most fruitful and challenging contributions to developing a more refined theory of political myth.

Speakers: Felix Heidenreich (IEP, Paris/University of Stuttgart), Jean-Claude Monod (ENS, Paris), Herbert De Vriese (University of Antwerp), Willem Styfhals (University of Louvain), Geert Van Eekert (University of Antwerp), Angus Nicholls (Queen Mary, University of London) 

Advance registration essential. Email: herbert.devriese@uantwerpen.be


Held in collaboration with the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, University of London, and the Centre for European Philosophy at the University of Antwerp   

 

Contact

Jane Lewin
jane.lewin@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8966