Comprehension means examining and bearing consciously the burden which our century has placed on us—neither denying its existence or submitting weakly to its weight.
— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Arendt on Earth takes the elusive concept of “earth” in the thought of Hannah Arendt as a frame, impetus and provocation to “think what we are doing” in the face of multiple, interconnected crises: rapid, unpredictable climate change; the boundlessness of modern production and consumption; the rule of instrumentality over science; fears of technology out of control; the “defactualization” of the world and the corruption of truth in politics; global catastrophes of poverty, displacement, statelessness and rightlessness; and the crises of legitimacy, power, and freedom that face democratic peoples and polities today. Our purpose is not only to foster scholarly engagement with Arendt’s writing, but to envision how the humanities can promote public comprehension of the burdens of our time. 

The project comprises four two-day workshops, each devoted to intensive discussion of papers contributed by invited scholars and project members:

I. Beginnings (May 3-4, 2019)

II. Earth & Expropriation (Nov 22, 2019)

III. Technologies & Instruments (May 8, 2020)

IV. Plurality: The ‘law of the Earth’ (Spring 2020, date TBD)

Papers will be circulated to all participants, connecting scholars across themes, disciplines and locations. The aim is to open up unanticipated opportunities for collaboration, and to pursue new connections and lines of thought before reconvening to share our work in a public conference in Spring 2021. 

Arendt on Earth is supported by a three-year grant through the Humanities Without Walls grand research challenge, "The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate."