Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Consortium Events

Table of Consortium Events


Date & Time

February 17

4 p.m.

Prof. Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto): "Walter Benjamin and Revolutionary Inheritance"


Abstract: "Our heritage was left to us without a testament.” Hannah Arendt repeatedly borrows this formula (from René Char) to capture what she takes to be the predicament of revolutionary modernity. Without a testament, without any symbolic means of transmitting the event, there is no way to bequeath the “treasure” to future generations – no way to harvest its energy, to prolong its impact, or even to bear witness to what happened. This predicament is epitomized, for Arendt, by the destinies of its two most exemplary incarnations. Whereas the French Revolution, in its failure, would manage, literally, to succeed all too well – it would breed successor after terrifying successor-- the American Revolution, for all its manifest success, would conspicuously fail to produce a successor.

Here’s the thought experiment: what if Char’s formula needs to be reversed? What if the predicament is not intestacy, as Arendt suggests, but rather a kind of hyper-testamentarity --not a deficit but a surfeit of testamentary protocol? The past confronts us as a thicket of imperatives, injunctions, promises, exhortations, incitements, excitations– obscure messages from the dead, unsigned and undated but nonetheless time-stamped and indelibly addressed to us. What if the testament itself were the heritage —or rather, if there were no heritage, no patrimonial substance to transmit or but only the pressure of a demand as enigmatic as it is insistent?

This is precisely what Benjamin is pointing to when he speaks, in the second Thesis on History, of a secret covenant, rendezvous, or assignation between the dead and the living. This talk will explore some of the implications of this testamentary excess.

Host: Andrew Cutrofello


Flyer for the talk.

Cuneo Hall, Room 217

Loyola University Chicago


March 31

10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

German philosophy workshop on Kant's theoretical philosophy


Yoon Choi (Marquette University): "Kant and the Spontaneity of the Understanding"


Avery Goldman (DePaul University): "Kant on Leibniz: Disentangling the Principle of Sufficient Reason from the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles"


Jacqueline Mariña (Purdue University): “The Second Analogy and the Motion of the Subject”


Daniel Sutherland (UIC): "Kant on Pure and Applied Mathematics"


Contact Person: Kevin Thompson


Flyer with more information here

Dorothy Day Room

Richardson Library

DePaul University

April 10

Prof. John Richardson (NYU)


Contact Person: Morganna Lambeth

Northwestern University
October 6

Prof. James Kreines (Claremont McKenna College)


Contact Person: Rachel Zuckert

University of Chicago

Room TBA

October 17 Book discussion of Fred Rush, Irony and Idealism: Rereading Schlegel, Hegel, and Kierkegaard (OUP 2016)

Participants: Mark Alznauer (Northwestern), Peter Fenves (Northwestern), Elizabeth Millàn (DePaul), and Robert Pippin (University of Chicago), with response by Fred Rush (University of Notre Dame).

Contact Person: Morganna Lambeth

Northwestern University
October 27 Prof. Vicki Spencer, University of Otago (New Zealand): "Herder and Relativism" Northwestern University


Other Events


Date & Time Event Location

February 17

12-2 p.m.

Rocío Zambrana (University of Oregon): "Notes for a Decolonial Critical Theory: Critique in Adorno, Horkheimer, Castro Gómez and Quijano"


Flyer here.


In addition to the workshop at Northwestern, prof. Zambrana will be a guest lecturer at Prof. María Acosta's Philosophy Graduate seminar on Walter Benjamin​ at DePaul University​, Mondays February 13 and 20, 3 to 6:15 pm, Arts and Letters 211.

The first session will be on "Dialectics as Resistance," and the recommended readings are Zambrana's paper  "Dialectics as Resistance: Hegel, Benjamin and Adorno," and Benjamin's “Epistemo-Critical Prologue” and Convolute N of the Arcades project. 

The second session will be on "Neoliberal coloniality and critical decolonial theory" and the recommended readings are a book chapter by Prof. Zambrana (unpublished, distributed among participants), and Benjamin's “Capitalism as Religion”. 


Contact person: María Acosta

Kaplan Seminar Room

Kresge Hall 2-350

Northwestern University

Throughout the year Philosophy and History Workshop

Notre Dame University

107 O’Shaughnessy



For more information visit this website: http://blogs.nd.edu/philosophyandhistoryworkshop


German Philosophy Workshop


University of Chicago

Unless otherwise noted, all German Philosophy Workshop events are on Fridays, 1:30-4:20pm in Wieboldt 408.



For more information visit this website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/germanphilosophy/