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Hans Blumenberg and the Theory of Political Myth

Date: Saturday, 17 March 2018, 10:00 to 17:00

Venue: Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), University of London, Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

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In recent years, the phenomenon of political myth has attracted increasing scholarly attention. In its wake, the concept of political myth has begun to establish itself as a relevant concept of political theory. The increasing interest in political myth seems to be related to the rapidly changing landscape of contemporary politics. Especially in the context of political rhetoric, identity politics and collective action, the theory of political myth has often proved to be a vital source of fresh and illuminating insights.

Since Chiara Bottici’s A Philosophy of Political Myth (2007), the theoretical framework of political myth has been successfully enriched by integrating seminal concepts from Hans Blumenberg’s theory of myth. Under the influence of Bottici’s work, recent theorists of political myth tend to underline, for instance, that one of the most important functions of political myths is to create ‘significance’. But what does it mean to create significance, as a specific dimension of political communication or political action? How do political myths construct collective identities and thereby affect political agency? Are political myths always nefarious and related to propaganda and misinformation, or might they have a legitimate use under some circumstances?

The workshop will focus on the importance of the work of Hans Blumenberg in relation to these questions and will offer close readings and interpretations of two recently published texts from the Blumenberg Nachlass: ‘Präfiguration’ (which deals with political myth and its relation to National Socialism) and ‘Moses der Ägypter’ (which examines the use of political myth in relation to the trial of Adolf Eichmann), and include lectures on Blumenberg’s most fruitful and challenging contributions to developing a more refined theory of political myth.


Felix Heidenreich (IEP, Paris/University of Stuttgart)

Jean-Claude Monod (ENS, Paris)

Herbert De Vriese (University of Antwerp)

Geert Van Eekert (University of Antwerp)

Angus Nicholls (Queen Mary, University of London) 


Advance registration required by February 17th.

Please contact Herbert De Vriese, email:

Held in conjunction with the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, University of London, and the Centre for European Philosophy at the University of Antwerp. 

'All Under One Roof' - 'Shrines of Upper Austria'

Date: Tuesday, 1 May 2018, 18:00 to 20:00

Venue: Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Evelyn Schlag, one of Austria's most distinguished poets, and acclaimed translator Karen Leeder will read from Schlag's new collection of poetry, All Under One Roof, due to be published by Carcanet Press this spring. They will be joined by award-winning British poet Phoebe Power who will read from her debut collection, Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet, February 2018). The readings will be introduced by Rüdiger Görner (Queen Mary, University of London).

Attendance free - advance registration required - to book please click HERE.

More about the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre
Sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum, London


Research Colloquia 2017/18

The 2017/18 CAGCR FRIDAY RESEARCH SEMINAR series will focus on Nitzsche in connection with Oscar Levy Forum (OLF) for Nietzsche Studies at Queen Mary University of London.

The programme dates for 2018 are as follows:

26th January: Understanding Nietzsche I – textual hermeneutics presented by participants

16th February: Understanding Nietzsche II – textual hermeneutics presented by participants

9th March: Guest Lecture: Professor Dr. Barbara Naumann (Zürich/Cologne): Against Self-Reflection: Nietzsche’s Circumventions of the Self

18th May: D. H. Lawrence’s Nietzscheanism

Time & Venue: 4-6 pm at Lockkeeper’s Cottage, QMUL/Mile End Campus. The full programme can be downloaded here: CAGCR Friday Research Seminar Programme 2017/18 [PDF 85KB].


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