Lecture by Aleida Assmann

Date: 25/02/2020

Time: 17.00-18.30

Location: Goethe Institut Niederlande, Herengracht 470, Amsterdam

Aleida Assmann
Community building. Political challenges and cultural practices

A lecture about public spirit. What threatens it and what we can do for it.

The question of ‘social cohesion’ is not new. But over the last decade it has moved to the top of the agenda of pressing problems. The division of society and the radicalisation of its climate have become the focus of our attention and are confirmed daily with new evidence. But media attention alone is not enough. In order to reduce the explosive division of society and strengthen the public spirit, a longer-term perspective, constructive ideas and, above all, sustainable strategies are needed. For it is not enough to talk only about division and hatred, we must also think about how to restore a sense of community – at all levels: globally, in the EU, at the national level, in the cities and in schools.

The lecture is part of the programme  ‘Die Vieldeutigkeit der Welt’, a series jointly organised by H401, Goethe Institut Niederlande and Genootschap Nederland-Duitsland.

This lecture will be in English.

RSVP at productie(at)h401.org

Aleida Assmann is a highly influential inter- and transdisciplinary thinker who coined the concept of “cultural memory” in the field of cultural studies, as well as in public debates. Her work had far-reaching impact presenting collective memory as a requirement for the formation of the identity of religious and political communities.

Aleida Assmanns work under the title of “cultural memory” shaped a new paradigm well beyond her own field and country. Along with her husband Jan Assmann  she initiated the interdisciplinary working circle “Archaeology of literary communication”, which analyzed written traditions as the most important instrument of anthropological self-investigation. Her work demonstrates an extensive knowledge reaching well beyond the limits of her own specialism, a knowledge which in her painstakingly written and easily understandable texts surprises and illuminates the reader time after time.