FREE Film Screening of ‘Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt’ & Panel Discussion – 5th May 2016

FREE Film Screening of ‘Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt’ and Panel Discussion

Where: Stamford Street Lecture Theatre, 127 Stamford Street, SE1 9NQ 

When: 4:15pm, Thursday 5th May 2016

The KISS-DTC and the Spatial Politics Group (Dept. of Geography) would like to invite you to an exclusive screening of the new, and not-yet-released, documentary by Ada Ushpiz about the life and work of the radical political theorist Hannah Arendt. Featuring academics including Judith Butler, Jerome Kohn, and Richard Bernstein, it is a must see for any students and staff interested in Politics, Philosophy, International Relations, migration, Europe, conflict, violence, totalitarianism, or revolution. Following the screening there will be the opportunity to engage with a panel discussion on Arendt’s Relevance Today with 4 of the leading Arendt scholars from across Europe.

To read more about the film go to:

To book your FREE tickets visit

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Paul Hirst Memorial Lecture: ‘Are we not both human beings?’ Professor Anne Phillips, 10 February 2016

‘Are we not both human beings?’: Professor Anne Phillips
Paul Hirst Memorial Lecture

Date and time: Wednesday 10 February 2016, 6:30pm

Location: Room B04, 43 Gordon Square
Reserve a free place on Eventbrite

In ‘On Humanity in Dark Times’, Hannah Arendt questions the limitations of a humanism that pretends to a commonality while evading the reality of a ‘world become inhuman’. Anne Phillips takes this as a starting point for an exploration of the notion of the human. Though the assertion of our common humanity remains a powerful ethical and political ideal, it too often involves either a substantive account of what it is to be human that then becomes the basis for gradations, or else a stripped down contentless account that denies important differences. Professor Phillips argues that we need to think of the human, rather, as an enactment of and commitment to equality.

Anne Phillips is Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science and Professor of Political and Gender Theory at the London School of Economics. Her work has been influential in questioning liberal positions in contemporary political thought, and provides important insights into feminist theory and politics, democracy, equality, multiculturalism, and difference. She is the author of Engendering Democracy (Polity, 1991), The Politics of Presence (Clarendon Press, 1995), Which Equalities Matter (Polity, 1999), Multiculturalism without Culture (Princeton University Press, 2007), and Our Bodies, Whose Property? (Princeton University Press). Her latest book is The Politics of the Human (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Reserve on Eventbrite or contact Jason Edwards.

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Birkbeck Institute for Social Research – Autumn 2015 Programme

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Political and Social Theory Seminar
Autumn Term 2015

*** This seminar series is open to Birkbeck PhD students and academic staff only. ***

Totalitarianism and Justice: Hannah Arendt and Judith Shklar

Wednesday 14 October 2015 | 2.00 – 3.30pm | Paul Hirst Seminar Room (102), 10 Gower Street

Speaker: Dr Samantha Ashenden, Birkbeck, University of London

Abstract to follow.

Decolonising Environmental Security

Tuesday 10 November 2015 | Time and venue tbc

Speaker: Prof Jan Selby, University of Sussex

Abstract to follow.

Reflections on the “Postmodern Turn” in the Social Sciences

Monday 7 December 2015 | 4.00 – 5.30pm | Paul Hirst Seminar Room (102), 10 Gower Street

Speaker: Dr Simon Susen, City University, London

Simon will talk about his recent book, The ‘Postmodern Turn’ in the Social Sciences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), details of which can be found – here

If you wish to attend any of these seminars, please email Jason Edwards.

The purpose of this seminar series in Political and Social Theory, organised by Jason Edwards (Department of Politics, Birkbeck), is to provide a forum for colleagues at Birkbeck to discuss their research, and also to promote the public face of the College for political and social theory by inviting outside speakers to present their work. The seminar will run regularly over the course of the academic year with three sessions in the Autumn and Spring terms, and two in the Summer term. The scope of the seminar will be broad, including matters concerning contemporary social theory, normative political theory, political and historical sociology, political philosophy, and critical theory.


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