“Hope and the Lessons of Experience”
Keynote by Eva Geulen

Keynote by Eva Geulen as part of the 2021 Conference of the International Walter Benjamin Society: Hoffnung – mit Benjamin neu denken, 4–6 Nov 2021

First impressions notwithstanding, hope is not quite as ubiquitous in Benjamin as one might think. Moreover, it is difficult to disentangle from related notions such as salvation / rescue, escape among others. The lecture addresses these problems by focussing on the fact that Benjamin’s notion of hope is not oriented towards the future but the past. With this shift to the past, the idea of experience gains importance. Reading early texts such as The Life of Students and On the Program of a Coming Philosophy up to and including the essay on Goethe’s Elective Affinities the paper hopes to shed some light on early Benjamin’s conception of hope.

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A collaboration of the International Walter Benjamin Society, the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and the ZfL.

Video: © Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte


More conference videos

“Hopes: Place Making and Space Creating in Walter Benjamin.” Keynote by Andrew Benjamin

“Piano Music from 1920s Berlin: Childhood and Revolution.” Piano concert by Samuel Draper
[on Youtube]


Hope – Rethinking with Benjamin

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