Jan Patočka and the grounds for political action

8 November 2019, 9.00am - 5.30pm
Conference / Symposium
The Court Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Academic conference and evening arts event.

This conference will explore the contributions of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka to our understanding of whether and how meaningful political action is possible—taking cues from his phenomenology, his essays on arts and culture, his writings on Europe, and his conception of sacrifice. The day will feature Patočka scholars and academics who worked underground in the former Czechoslovakia. A topical introduction to the ideas of this fascinating philosopher, offering novel ways of reflecting on our contemporary political crises. 

Conference programme (draft subject to change)

9:00 Arrival and Coffee

9:30 Welcome from Graham Henderson (Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation) and Erin Plunkett (University of Hertfordshire)

Panel 1 - Philosophical grounds
9:45 Francesco Tava (University of the West of England, (UWE), Bristol
10:15 Michaela Belejkaničová (UCL) on sacrifice in Patočka
10:45 Panel discussion

11:15 Coffee

Panel 2 -  Arts and Culture

11:30 Erin Plunkett(University of Hertfordshire)
12:00 Barbara Day (author of The Velvet Philosophers) on her participation in the underground philosophy lecture programme(the ‘Patočka universities’) in the former Czechoslovakia 
12:30 Panel discussion 

13:00 Lunch

Panel 3 - Resistance

14:30 Ivan Chvatik (director of the Patočka Archive in Prague) on Jan Patocka's influence on intellectual and political resistance to Communism
15:00 Jan Frei (deputy director of the Patočka Archive in Prague) on Jan Patocka's cultural and political impact
15:30 Panel discussion

16:00 Tea

16:15 Concluding remarks

Tickets to attend the one day conference from 9:00-17:30 are:

Standard £20* | Students/unwaged £10*

Click on the BOOK NOW button below to register for this one day conference 

The conference will be followed by an evening arts event 'Care for the Soul – Jan Patočka and the arts'. With live music and performances, this event will take place from 18:30-20:30 and requires separate registration and payment please go to: Care for the Soul – Jan Patočka and the arts  to register for the evening event.

Tickets to attend the evening event from 18:30-20:30 are a flat fee of £10*

Download programme

For further information on both events please visit: the Rimbaud & Verlaine Foundation website 

*Plus a booking fee.


Jenny Stubbs
020 7862 8832