Hannah Arendt: Facing Totalitarianism (COMPLIT 353B, GERMAN 353, JEWISHST 243A)
Like hardly any other thinker of the modern age, Hannah Arendt's thought offers us timeless insights into the fabric of the modern age, especially regarding the perennial danger of totalitarianism. This course offers an in-depth introduction to Arendt's most important works in their various contexts, as well as a consideration of their reverberations in contemporary philosophy and literature. Readings include Arendt's <em>The Origin of Totalitarianism</em>, <em>The Human Condition, Between Past and Future</em>, <em>Men in Dark Times</em>, <em>On Revolution</em>,<em>Eichmann in Jerusalem</em>, and <em>The Life of the Mind</em>, as well as considerations of Hannah Arendt's work by Max Frisch, Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Giorgio Agamben, and others. Special attention will be given to Arendt's writings on literature with an emphasis on Kafka, Brecht, Auden, Sartre, and Camus. This course will be synchronously conducted, but will also use an innovative, Stanford-developed, online platform called Poetic Thinking. Poetic Thinking allows students to share both their scholarly and creative work with each other. Based on the newest technology and beautifully designed, it greatly enhances their course experience.