|Democracy - A Fragile Way of Life||Lecture||Shalini RanderiaTill van Rahden||
After the Cold War ended, liberal democracy was taken for granted. Now it is in crisis: citizens distrust parliamentary politics, the people’s parties are losing members and votes, and social media are crowding out public debates. Challenging the sense of despair that informs recent studies on how democracy dies, Till van Rahden argued that it might prove more useful to explore what keeps it alive. A fruitful point of departure is the insight that democracy is not only a matter of elections and political parties, constitutions and parliaments, but is grounded in democratic experiences. The attention is less on how democratic government works, but on what equality, freedom, and justice feel like. A focus on democratic forms and aesthetics allows us to revisit the cultural and social foundations of democracy. No matter how stable a democracy may seem, it will wither and perish without ways of life that allow for and encourage democratic experiences.
|History of the Shoah and Politics of History in Post-Communist Lithuania||Lecture||Christoph DieckmannMarci ShoreViktoras Bachmetjevas||
History has become a deeply contentious topic in the post-communist space, particularly with regard to World War II, Communism, and Nationalism. Memories are not static, and our increasing historical knowledge is embedded within a dynamic contemporary context. This means that both history and the politics of history are developing and changing. Christoph Dieckmann, one of the leading historians of the German occupation in Lithuania, shared his experiences and impressions of the politics of history in Eastern Europe from the perspective of a German historian.
|Alien Logic||Lecture||Ayşe ÇağlarMartin BurckhardtTimothy Snyder||
Bronislaw Malinowski has shown with his ethnological studies that a supposedly primitive society can be of astonishing complexity, as well as why the structure of this order remains obscure to its members. Obviously, modern societies also suffer from system blindness – why else is digitization said to have chiliastic, diabolic, magical powers? In a continuation to his cultural-theoretical investigations on the genealogy and philosophy of the machine, Martin Burckhardt explores the question of how the self-enchantment of rationality can occur, and to what extent the operating system of the attention economy can be read as an outsourced unconscious. This, in turn, leads back to the point of departure: what perspective must a contemporary social anthropologist take in order to read the present?
|Balaton. Novellen||Lecture||Ludger HagedornNoémi Kiss||Facebook-Stream|