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Talk "Hannah Arendts Plurality of Languages"

Jan 30, 2024 | 07:30 PM

BASF Lecture Series with Thomas Wild (Bard College, USA)

Hannah Arendt wrote her entire work both in English and in German. This fact is not yet fully recognized by most readers, even among the scholarly community. Arendt’s eminent books on Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, Eichmann in Jerusalem, or On Revolution are typically approached as if they were written by a mono-lingual author. We may think of literary authors such as Samuel Beckett and Vladimir Nabokov who wrote in multiple languages, while Arendt confronts us with an exception in the field of political philosophy. Might her writing in more than one language also be a deliberate response to the task of political thinking after the experience of totalitarianism?

Thomas Wild will reflect on Arendt’s multilingualism against the background of the Critical Edition of Hannah Arendt’s Complete Works that is currently in preparation and presents, for the very first time, not only all of Arendt’s published and unpublished writings, in print and digitally, but also in all of the languages Arendt wrote in. With examples from her works, Wild will ask how to read Hannah Arendt, this thinker of plurality, through her plurality of languages.

Thomas Wild is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Bard College, New York. – Selected book publications: Hannah Arendt. Leben, Werk, Wirkung (2006); Nach dem Geschichtsbruch. Deutsche Schriftsteller um Hannah Arendt (2009); editions of Hannah Arendt’s correspondences with Uwe Johnson, Hilde Domin, Joachim Fest; Wolfgang Hildesheimer: 12 Briefwechsel (2016); ununterbrochen mit niemandem reden. Lektüren mit Ilse Aichinger (2021).

Thomas Wild is General Editor of the Critical Edition of Hannah Arendt’s Complete Works

Time & Location

Jan 30, 2024 | 07:30 PM

Online event; link via the event website (see below; attention – time difference)


  • Bard College, USA
  • BASF Lecture Series
  • Complete Works
  • Critical Edition
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Online Event
  • Plurality of Languages
  • Queen Mary University, QMUL
  • Thomas Wild