Jan Patočka and the grounds for political action

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 scholars of Patočka and Czech literature as well as academics who took part in the underground universities in the former Czechoslovakia. 

Conference programme (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): ‘Jan Patočka on Personal Exposure and Public Life’
10:15 Michaela Belejkaničová (UCL): ‘When life is not everything: Jan Patočka's reflections on sacrifice and political action’
10:45 Panel discussion

11:15 Coffee

Panel 2 -  Arts and Literature
11:30 Jan Tlustý (Masaryk University): ‘Contemplating literature with Jan Patočka: phenomenology as an inspiration for literary criticism’ 
12:00 Erin Plunkett (University of Hertfordshire): '"New human possibilities" in Patočka's writings on literature and the arts'

13:00 Lunch

Panel 3 - Resistance
14:00 Ivan Chvatik (director of the Patočka Archive in Prague): ‘Philosophy as looking for sense in senseless world’
14:30 Barbara Day (author of The Velvet Philosophers): ‘The Invisible Underground: Keeping Quiet about the Patočka University in the 1980s’
15:00 Panel discussion

15:30 Tea

Panel 4 -  Patočka and Czech Culture
15:45 Jan Frei (deputy director of the Patočka Archive in Prague): ‘The Cultural Impact of Patočka's Philosophy’
16:15 Astrid Muls (Université libre de Bruxelles):' Ricoeur's Resistant Philosopher’
16:45 Panel discussion

17:15 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'. featuring music by the Echea Quartet, Czech poetry, and reflections on the role of the arts and Czech culture in the work of Jan Patočka, 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 full programme of events

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


Jenny Stubbs
020 7862 8832