In the last decade of his life, Siegfried Kracauer, now mostly known as a media theorist, began preparing a book on history. Unfinished at the time of his death, History: The Last Things Before the Last was published posthumously in 1969. This workshop will explore a concern that is arguably central to the book: the problem of historical time. For Kracauer, every conception of historical time has to confront what he calls its ‘insoluble antinomy’, the necessity to think the flow of time together with the shapes of time incommensurable to it. Over the course of our one-day workshop, we will discuss Kracauer’s analysis of this antinomy and the challenge it poses to traditional historical categories such as the date, the period, and the transition between periods. Comprised of two parts, the workshop will start from a collective reading of excerpts from History in order to then consider its relation to other engagements with the ‘riddle of time’, from Marx to Kubler and Benjamin to Blumenberg.
This workshop is a collaboration with the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung and is occasioned by the (videorecorded) talk ‘When Time Becomes Form’ Eva Geulen gave in the context of the ICI Lecture Series ERRANS, in Time.
A workshop with Eva Geulen, organized by Christiane Frey and Tom Vandeputte
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