Arts & DesignFeatureReviews

Ordinary Uncanniness: The Early Photographs of Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, an exhibition at The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10021, July 12 through November 27, 2016

Like the painter Francis Bacon and the illustrator Ralph Steadman, Diane Arbus’s photographic art has often been associated with the grotesque, the disconcerting, the alien. Her haunting photos of steely-pale-eyed …

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EssaysFeature

No Border Police, No Border Problems

Most of the debate about the European refugee crisis revolves around whether the responsibility of handling them belongs to European institutions or to individual nation states, and, if the latter, which among them: the first country of entry (as the Dublin regulations established) or some other country. In this brief intervention, I would like to suggest that this is a false dilemma: in terms of citizenship, the European Union is dependent on the nation states that comprise it and thus, as a whole, Europe, as a political organization, is still largely dependent on their underlying logic. But the states are incapable of handling the crisis precisely because they are the very source of it. 

I will be using “migrant” and “refugee” interchangeably. As the summer approaches, and quick rubber-boat rides become easier to access, Europe will again witness an intensification of the economic migration from the North African coast,  …

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EssaysRaceThe Left

And Yet It is Round!

Untimely thoughts on Europe, Migration, and the State

Untimely thoughts on Europe, Migration, and the State

As I do every year, I have spent most of this summer on the Italian coast, in the region around the Gulf of Poets. This summer, as soon as I put my head underwater, I am struck by the beauty of the sea: the water is so blue that, at times, it turns violet; there are fish everywhere, sea urchins, sea stars, and seaweeds of such amazing sparkling colors as I have never seen in the region. People around me speak of a “tropicalization of the Mediterranean.” …

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EducationEssays

The German Geist Dwells Nowhere

The turmoil surrounding Heidegger’s Black Notebooks achieved new heights recently, with Freiburg University’s announcement that its legendary Heidegger Lehrstuhl would be abolished and converted to a junior professorship in logic (!) and analytic philosophy, as if to deliberately obliterate Heidegger’s legacy. Apparently, the Lehrstuhl has become too controversial. This decision may well be scandalous, as Markus Gabriel argued on March 3rd in Süddeutsche Zeitung, but the reasons he marshals in defense of a Heidegger Lehrstuhl in his essay — “Where Does German Spirit Dwell?” — seem to us to create needless confusion. A collegial response is in order.

 

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O.O.P.S.Theory & Practice

Arendt’s Plurology

The sociologist reading Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition is bound to squint at the page in puzzlement when Arendt gives her definition of society. So would, I think, most readers of the text. Arendt’s fondness for assigning new meanings to commonly used words is most perfectly demonstrated in that moment when she nonchalantly declares that “society” is a distinctly modern phenomenon: the intrusion of the private sphere into the public, resulting in a massive emptying of the value of human association.

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