The Hannah Arendt Working Group

Weekly continuous reading of "The Public & Private" from The Human Condition

Upcoming Hannah Arendt working group will be held on Saturdays the 14th of March and the 21st of March. Events will continue after a break in the middle of the summer. 

Time: Saturday - 12pm - 3pm

The Hannah Arendt Working Group is a free and open reading group open to all members of the public, dedicated to live reading of the works of Arendt, one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th century. Led by writer, teacher, editor, and activist Fred Dewey, it's purpose is to explore Arendt's unique focus and method. A German Jew who lived in Berlin before fleeing to Paris, Marseilles, and then the US, Arendt dedicated her life to matters of freedom and public happiness, language, the capacity to act, to think, and to judge, the meaning of basic rights, revolution, culture, and the republic, and how these collide with the unprecedented in contemporary politics, history, in total domination and the presence of the banality of evil, and in the power to begin again and to secure a space of appearance.

This day long session of reading aloud, around a table, will focus on the opening sections of "The Public and Private Realm," from Arendt's best-known work, The Human Condition (German title: Vita Activa). There, Arendt addressed the difference between the political and the social, a controversial distinction, like many she insisted on, with enormous consequences for thinking and practice of all kinds.

No advance preparation or expertise is needed to participate. Sessions are free and open to all, and conducted in English, the language Arendt wrote in. 

The Hannah Arendt Working Group was founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s by Dewey and began meeting in Berlin in 2010, focusing on Arendt's working relationships with Walter Benjamin and Karl Jaspers, followed by ongoing sessions on Arendt's late work, On Revolution. Dewey is on the faculty of the fine arts graduate program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He has taught at the Frei Universitat in Berlin and Cal Arts in Valencia, CA, was director of Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles, and helped establish neighborhood councils in the city law of Los Angeles. His recent book is The School of Public Life (errant bodies, 2014). He shares his time between Berlin and Los Angeles.