Heidegger and Memory Conference

Technology, Time, and the Political.
Modernity and memory from Heidegger to Stiegler.

One Day Workshop in continental philosophy
at Michigan State University

Saturday, October 3


Time and memory are predominate themes throughout Continental Philosophy. This workshop begins with Heidegger’s meditations on historical time and existence and connects them to contemporary discussions on technology and the political, looking closely at Bernard Stiegler’s thesis in “Technics and Time” that technics is not the result but the condition of human life and its cultural evolution. In addition, Jean-Luc Nancy’s reflections on world and globalization, as well as Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s reflections on Heidegger will be addressed. The workshop will problematize these connections through David Barison and Daniel Ross’ documentary film “The Ister,” which deals with the problem of technology in connection with Heidegger’s interpretation of Hölderlin’s poem “The Ister,” and features Nancy, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Stiegler. Of special concern are questions about how technology mediates, determines, and narrates human existence, social life, creativity, history, and the environment. The film will be featured during the workshop followed by brief introductions and extended discussions. More information about “The Ister” can be found at http://www.theister.com.

The Ister:

At the height of WWII, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century delivered a series of lectures on a poem about the Danube river, by one of Germany’s greatest poets. In 1936 Heidegger spent the summer semester lecturing on the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin. He focused on a poem about the Danube known as “The Ister.” Rather than an esoteric retreat into the world of poetry, Heidegger’s lectures were a direct confrontation with the political and cultural chaos facing the world in 1942. The film The Ister takes up some of the most challenging paths in Heidegger’s thought, as it journeys from the mouth of the Danube river in Romania to its source in the Black Forest in Germany. However controversial Heidegger continues to be, his thought remains alive in the work of some of the most remarkable thinkers and artists working today. Three of these conduct our voyage upstream along the Danube: Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Bernard Stiegler. The film presents an extended reflection on how technology, time, and modernity are interconnected and how human reality can no longer be understood without the inclusion of technics.

Website: http://www.msu.edu/~lotz/modernityworkshop2009

Schedule: Saturday, October 3

10 Welcome, Richard Peterson, Chair of the Philosophy Department

10 -11 Introduction

Christian Lotz, Remarks on Heidegger and Hölderlin + Discussion

Text: Heidegger, Hölderlin’s Hymn ‘The Ister,’ sections 5-7; 13-15; 22-23; Hölderlin, The Ister

Kyle Whyte, Remarks on Stiegler and Technology

Text: Text: Stiegler, Technics and Time, vol 1, pp 1-28

11-12:15 Film screening, part 1: Bernard Stiegler on Technology and Modernity

12-:15-1:15 Kyle Whyte, Remarks on Stiegler + Discussion

Text: Stiegler, Technics and Time, vol 1, pp 1-28

1:15-2:15 Lunch

2:15-3 Film screening, part 2: Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe on Heidegger, Auschwitz and Technology; Jean-Luc Nancy on the

Foundation of the West

3-4 Kyle Whyte, Remarks on Nancy + Discussion

Text: Nancy, The Inoperative Community, pp. 43-70; Nancy, The Creation of the World, pp. 96-109

4-5 Film screening, part 3: Bernard Stiegler on Time and Memory; Syberberg on the Past

5-6 Christian Lotz, Remarks on Stiegler/Syberberg + Discussion

Text: Stiegler, Technics and Time, vol 2, pp. 1-11

6:30pm Social event, Richard Peterson’s house

Brief readings are available for download here: http://www.msu.edu/~lotz/modernityworkshop2009

More on the workshop’s topic can be found here: http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_17/editorial.shtml

Attachment to this email: workshop flyer

Organization: Prof. Christian Lotz / Prof. Kyle Whyte, Dept. of Philosophy, MSU

RSVP would be much appreciated: lotz@msu.edu or kwhyte@msu.edu