From Friday the 23rd through to Sunday the 25th September 2016, a number of Viennese locations in and around Karlsplatz played host to the first ever Vienna Humanities Festival, organised by the Institute for Human Sciences, Wien Museum and Time to Talk.
With around 40 discussions, an all day readathon and a performance by Natalia Vorozhbyt, the first ever Vienna Humanities Festival turned the city‘s Karlsplatz into a wide-ranging urban salon.
What do leading intellectuals have to say on the most pressing issues of our time? 2016‘s motto, “andernorts [elsewhere]/out of place”, had its origins in the current refugee crisis, yet went far and beyond this theme in order to bring clarity to the movement of people, objects and ideas.
Taking place in and around Vienna‘s Karlsplatz, the festival provided a full programme of free entry events featuring acclaimed speakers such as Sadik al-Azm, Arjun Appadurai, Phillip Blom, Alexandra Föderl-Schmid, Agnes Heller, Martin Pollack, Jan-Werner Müller, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Michael Rothberg and many more.
The festival commenced with an opening evening which saw Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi talk about flight, the current refugee crisis and her own experiences as a German-speaking Bohemian in and after 1945. This very first event took place at the Wien Museum on Karlsplatz at 18:30 CET on Friday the 23rd September and you can find out more about it and all the other events in the festival programme.
Please note that the festival programme is mainly in German, however, there were several English-language events scheduled and these can be identified via their English-language descriptions in the programme.
As part of the festival, a readathon took place all day Sunday in brut. With recordings of the whole day now online, you can listen to the readathon and find our more about its speakers and texts on our dedicated page.
The festival has now come to an end, but a mixed language (English & German) playlist including full-length videos of discussions from the VHF has been published on the IWM’s YouTube channel and can be found at the top of this page or accessed on YouTube by clicking here.
Recordings of a select list of English-language discussions can also be found below or, in the case of the audio recordings, accessed via our Mixcloud channel.
Where does the idea that someone who has committed a crime can be considered “not quilty by reason of insanity” come from historically? When have certain ideological or political positions and behaviours been viewed as insane by contemporaries?
Holly Case (Associate Professor of History, Brown University and Visiting Fellow, IWM) in discussion with Miloš Vec (Professor of European Legal and Constitutional History, Vienna University and Permanent Fellow, IWM).
What does the memory of the Shoah mean for Turkish–Germans? And, what forms of solidarity might be able to exist between Muslim and Jewish communities? This video sees Michael Rothberg in conversation with the director of the Wien Museum, Matti Bunzl, as they look to answer some of these questions.
Michael Rothberg is the leading Holocaust theorist in the United States and Saul Friedländer’s successor in the prestigious chair of Holocaust studies at UCLA. The pioneer of a post–colonial approach to the Shoah, he has, for example, explored the meaning of the Holocaust for the civil rights movement. His latest research addresses the role of the Holocaust in the lives of Europe’s migrants.
Few scholars have had more influence on the conception of globalisation than Arjun Appadurai. The Indo–American cultural anthropologist, a professor at New York University (and currently also a guest professor at Berlin’s Humboldt University), has developed an entire critical apparatus for its analysis. At the heart of this approach, which Appadurai first presented in the early 1990s, are five overlapping and diverging flows: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes and ideoscapes.
At the Vienna Humanities Festival, Arjun Appadurai presented an update to his thinking on the dynamics of globalisation, with particular reference to the backdrop of ever–increasing populism. This recording shows him presenting this update in conversation with Shalini Randeria (Rector of the IWM & Research Director and Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at Geneva’s IHEID).
In discussion with Dessislava Gavrilova (Co–Founder of The Red House, Sofia & Time to Talk), Monika Mokre (Political Scientist & Activist in the realms of asylum and migration) and Nataliya Gumenyuk (Ukrainian Journalist, Co–Founder & Head of hromadske.ua) looked at the forms of solidarity which emerge within and with refugee groups, with particular reference paid to migration from Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea & to Europe from the Middle East and North Africa.