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Hölderlin, Romantic, Revolution

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Organizer: Sebastian Truskolaski

Co-Organizer: Geoffrey Wildanger

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Hölderlin, Romantic, Revolution
ACLA Seminar, Georgetown University, March 7-10, 2019
Organized by Sebastian Truskolaski (Trinity College Dublin) and Geoffrey Wildanger (Brown).
Over the course of the 20th century, the work of the Romantic outlier Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) has attracted much philosophical attention, not least from thinkers associated with the political right. Amongst these readings, Martin Heidegger’s has arguably been the most consequential, cementing the view of Hölderlin as a poet committed principally to Heimat and Vaterland. The prominence of Heidegger’s reading has, for a generation, tended to obscure an alternative inheritance leading in a radically different direction, namely: towards a poetry of revolution. In turn, this political re-positioning of Hölderlin by the likes of Peter Szondi, Pierre Bertaux, and Theodor Adorno, writing in the 1960s, resounds with two chronological moments: historically, in the work of figures such as Walter Benjamin, who, following Stefan George and Norbert von Hellingrath’s rehabilitation of Hölderlin’s late poetry, emphasised its radical modernity in the wake of experiential crises brought about by WWI; and forwards to the work of authors such as Peter Weiss, who reimagines Hölderlin as a Jacobin. This alternative view of Hölderlin as a poet of revolution not only runs counter to the prevalent view of his historical significance; rather, it also invites speculation as to the political currency of Hölderlin’s poetry today.
We invite contributions for 20-minute presentations on philosophical, literary, and artistic readings of (and approaches to) any of Hölderlin’s works, that focus on this alternative inheritance: from Bertholt Brecht’s poem on Empedocles’ shoe to Jean Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s political reflections in The Literary Absolute; and from Gustav Landauer’s 1916 lectures on Hölderlin’s lyric to the filmic adaptation of his only play by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Contributions could also inquire into continuities and disjunctions between Hölderlin and other Romantic or later poets of revolution.
The submissions portal is open from August 30th to September 20th, 2018, at 9 a.m. EST. Visit the ACLA website for proposals: 
Please do not hesitate to contact the organizers with your questions: and

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