Festivals & Series

Presentations and Responses

Part of "Everything was designed to make us sound": Hannah Arendt and Aesthetic Judgement

Friday, May 20, 2022 at 9:30am CDT

Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room, Ryan Center for the Musical Arts

Presentations by Andrea Bohlman (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), Brigid Cohen (New York University), Susannah Gottlieb (Northwestern University), Jonas Ronebrück (Northwestern University), and Ben Steege (Columbia University) with PhD student responses, followed by a reception.


Free Event

"Everything was designed to make us sound": Hannah Arendt and Aesthetic Judgement

May 18-20 at the Bienen School of Music

About the Symposium

Accompanying the rise of authoritarian political movements across the globe in the last decade has been renewed public interest in the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). Her critique of totalitarianism, provocative thesis on the “banality of evil,” and full-throated defense of the democratic public sphere have retained their value in the decades since she first proposed them. What has received far less attention is her consideration of the relationship between politics and the arts and listening, particularly as they are connected by the human faculty of judgement and the development of common sense. An international group of scholars and artists will gather for a workshop on the role of music, art, and political judgement in resilient democracies. In addition to the scholarly presentations, the event will launch with a concert by a•pe•ri•od•ic, that will feature music inspired by and in dialog with Hannah Arendt’s aesthetics and the writings of Cecilia Sjöholm and Brigid Cohen.  

Funding for this event has been provided by the program in Critical Theory, the Alumnae Association of Northwestern, The Kreeger Wolf Fund, the Institute for New Music, the Department of Music Studies, and the Programs in Musicology and Music Theory & Cognition, the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, and the Goethe Institut.


May 18
a•pe•ri•od•ic ensemble
McClintock Choral and Recital Room

May 19
Keynote by Cecilia Sjöholm
Regenstein Master Class Room

May 20
Presentations and Responses
Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room
(See detailed schedule below)

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May 20 Detailed Schedule

9:30am: Coffee & Tea

10:00–11am: Andrea Bohlman (UNC-Chapel Hill, Musicology) w/ Sara Mercurio (Northwestern, Musicology), respondent

11:15–12:15pm: Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb (Northwestern, English & CLS) w/ Kristian Rodriguez (Northwestern, Musicology), respondent

12:15–1:30pm: Lunch

1:30–2:30pm: Brigid Cohen (New York University, Musicology) w/ JM Nimocks (Northwestern, African American Studies), respondent.

2:45–3:45pm: Jonas Rosenbrück (Northwestern, CLS) w/ Mick Lim (Northwestern, Musicology)

4:00–5:00pm: Benjamin Steege (Columbia University, Music Theory) w/ Andrew Barrett (Northwestern, Musicology), respondent.

5:00–6:00pm: Reception

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Related Events

a•pe•ri•od•ic ensemble, May 18
Keynote by Cecilia Sjöholm, May 19