Co-sponsored by the Onassis Foundation LA
Hannah Arendt is one of the most renowned political thinkers of the twentieth century, and her work has never been more relevant than it is today. Born in Germany in 1906, Arendt published her first book at the age of twenty-three, before turning away from the world of academic philosophy to reckon with the rise of the Third Reich. After World War II, Arendt became one of the most prominent—and controversial—public intellectuals of her time, publishing influential works such as The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem. Samantha Rose Hill weaves together new biographical detail, archival documents, poems, and correspondence to reveal a woman whose passion for the life of the mind was nourished by her love of the world.
"Hill quickly cuts to the core of Arendt’s principal talent: the formulation of trenchant categories and definitions that, for all their certitude, take from the past only what is necessary, looking otherwise to the present and future... Hill spares us the clichéd, tabloid-ish critiques that make up a sizable chunk of Arendtian lore... Instead, she calmly—and quietly, but without truckling—applies her close readings of Arendt’s most controversial ideas to our own oftentimes taut and illiberal social atmosphere."— Los Angeles Review of Books
Samantha Rose Hill is a senior fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and associate faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Aeon, LitHub, OpenDemocracy, Public Seminar, Contemporary Political Theory, and Theory and Event. For more information, visit her website.
Paul Holdengräber is the Founding Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation LA (OLA), an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens that began its work as a "Center for Dialogue" in Spring 2019. Prior to working at OLA, he was the founder and director of LIVE from the NYPL, the NYPL's Public Programmes. In March 2020, Holdengräber created "The Quarantine Tapes", a daily podcast series.