Banalities of Evil

Panel Discussion Thu 25 Apr 2002
  • åCalendar
  • ,Map
  • Y Share
  • * 0Vote
Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem, as well as her The Origins of Totalitarianism, provide the background for our re-examination of some of her controversial speculations on the nature of radical evil and "the banality of evil."

The legacy of the Holocaust presents numerous possibilities for when, how and with whom to discuss this monumental historical event. Monuments create specific ideas for those who visit them. We ask ourselves what is the purpose of such memorials? Who decides the narratives they carry? What is the role of artifice and mastery in these questions? Such memorials tell us as much about whom we are, and what we value as about the historical events being memorialized. The event was organized in association with the Jewish Museum's exhibition Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art thickened the public conversation around Holocaust memorialization. Critics of the show questioned the chosen works, and their surface approach to representing Nazi imagery. Holocaust survivors protested outside the exhibition.

Jeffrey Peck, Director of the Canadian Center for German and European Studies at York University and co-editor of Multiculturalism in Transit: A German-American Exchange

Richard Bernstein, Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Faculty of New School University, author of Beyond Objectivism and Relativism, Radical Evil: A Philosophical Interrogation, and Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question
Bonnie Honig, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, author of Democracy and the Foreigner, and the editor of Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt
Eli Sagan, author of Citizens and Cannibals: The French Revolution, the Struggle for Modernity, and the Origins of Ideological Terror and At The Dawn of Tyranny