Keynote

We were very proud to welcome our Keynote Speaker, Prof. Peter Uwe Hohendahl, to Brown University. Professor Hohendahl’s teaching and research interests include eighteenth to twentieth century German literature, especially Enlightenment, Vormärz, and Modernism; intellectual history; literary, political and social theory with emphasis on Critical Theory; comparative literature with emphasis on eighteenth and nineteenth-century European literature and philosophy; history of science with emphasis on the humanities inclusing the history of German studies and the history of the university. His publications include Building a National Literature: The Case of Germany 1830-1870 (1989), Prismatic Thought: Theodor W. Adorno (1995), and most recently Heinrich Heine: Europäischer Schriftsteller und Intellektueller (2008).
In his keynote address, entitled Bondage or Autonomy: The Meaning of Myth in Critical Theory, Prof. Hohendahl offered a re-reading of Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer's The Dialectic of Enlightenment, focusing on the authors' challenge of the dichotomy of Reason and Myth. Prof. Hohendahl stressed the dialectical structure of Reason and Myth as explicated by Adorno and Horkheimer, and succeeding critiques of this conceptualization by Habermas and Blumenberg.

Prof. Hohendahl was introduced to the audience by Prof. Michael Steinberg, the director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities and Barnaby Conrad and Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History and Professor of Music at Brown University. In his introductory notes, Prof. Steinberg highlighted Prof. Hohendahl's ongoing investment in German Studies as a field within the humanities and the academy in general.

Prof. Michael Steinberg
Prof. Peter Uwe Hohendahl