An AGHI sponsored symposium has been a staple since we hosted the Society for the History of the Humanities for its fifth international meeting in our founding year. Since then, we have organized successful and well-attended symposia on prison education and the carceral state, on translation, featuring theoretical lectures as well as readings and discussion panels with practitioners, and more.
In 2022, leading voices convened for AGHI’s Calley Symposium to discuss the theme of “The New Politics of Existence,” exploring how existentialist thought from Kierkegaard to Heidegger to de Beauvoir and Sartre emphasizes the precarity and vulnerability of existence, as well as its freedom and responsibility. The Calley Symposium—given today’s world of impending climate catastrophe, misogynist and racist retrenchment, and nationalist resurgence—foregrounded the philosophical inquiry into the nature of human existence which has gained renewed urgency. To examine these pressing issues, scholars from JHU as well as Yale, URI, Purdue, Oberlin College, Barnard, Tufts, and more gathered for two days of provocative talks and discussions.
The New Politics of Existence
The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute’s Calley Symposium. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Comparative Thought and Literature, Philosophy, and Modern Languages and Literatures
Friday, September 23 – Saturday, September 24, 2022 | Gilman 208, Homewood Campus
Existentialist thought from Kierkegaard and Heidegger to de Beauvoir and Sartre emphasizes the precarity and vulnerability of existence as well as its freedom and responsibility. In today’s world of impending climate catastrophe, misogynist and racist retrenchment, and nationalist resurgence, the philosophical inquiry into the nature of human existence has attained renewed urgency.
- Martin Hägglund, Yale
The Material Conditions of Spiritual Freedom
- James Haile, URI
All Hail King Kunta: The Death of the Black Subject and the Resurrection of the Black Individual in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
- Yi-Ping Ong, JHU
Kierkegaard and Heidegger on the Concept of the Public
- William McBride, Purdue
Beauvoir and Sartre as Public Intellectuals in 2022
- Sonia Kruks, Oberlin College & Conservatory
Thinking about old age with Simone de Beauvoir
- Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei, JHU
The Ecologies of Existentialism
- William Egginton, JHU
Made to Measure: Existentialism and the Anthropic Principle
- Taylor Carman, Barnard College Columbia University
Is Existence Intelligible?
- Nancy Bauer, Tufts
The Existence of Women