From Hades to Heimat: Critical Theory and “the Abolition of Death”

Montag, 16.12.2019, 18-20 Uhr, Raum GABF 04/611
Workshop mit S. Weber am 17. Dezember 10-12 Uhr
Anmeldung Workshop: theaterforschung@rub.de

In the Dialectics of Enlightenment, Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer consider “the abolition of death” as one of the chief characteristics of a thinking that would free itself of mythical residues. In this context they turn to the Homeric Odyssey as one if not the exemplary text of the “western” tradition — and to Ulysses (Odysseus) as its exemplary figure. But their reading of certain aspects of Ulysses’ “return” to Ithaka raises more questions about this notion of myth than it provides answer. The lecture will examine some of the implications of these questions, which are as urgent today as they have ever been.

Samuel Weber, is Professor in Humanities at Northwestern University in Evanston and Director of the Paris Program in Critical Theory. He has teached at several european and american universities such as the European Graduate School, FU Berlin, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, Collège Inter- national de Philosophie in Paris). Furthermore, he worked as translator (Derrida, Adorno) and as dramaturg, amongst others at Oper Frankfurt and at Staatstheater Stuttgart. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as Chevalier des Ordre des Palmes Académiques. Numerous publications on theatre, Walter Benjamin, psychoanalysis, Critical Theory, Deconstruction and Media Theory. His next book will develop possibilities of “Politics und Poetics of Singularity.“