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"Dialectics of a Constellation: Heine in Critical Theory"



Professor Willi Goetschel


Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 12:00pm


Pigott Hall (Bldg 260), Room 252



"Dialectics of a Constellation: Heine in Critical Theory"

Heine’s absent presence plays a curiously ignored role in the history of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. While the trajectory of Heine suggestively resonates with that of Critical Theory, both literary criticism and Critical Theory have remained resistant to exploring their affinities as if Heine’s critical role in the formation of Critical Theory were still a taboo. Examining the various types of Heine reception in Löwenthal, Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas, and others along with that in Arendt and Scholem point to a constellation with a critical dialectic that suggests, as Adorno did, the need to "reappraise" Heine.
Willi Goetschel is Professor of German and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Discipline of Philosophy and the Invention of Modern Jewish Thought (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012), Spinoza’s Modernity: Mendelssohn, Lessing, and Heine (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004) and Constituting Critique: Kant's Writing as Critical Praxis, transl. by Eric Schwab (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994). He is the editor of the collected works by Hermann Levin Goldschmidt in nine volumes (Vienna: Passagen, 1993-2014), the executive editor of The Germanic Review and the general editor of Bamidbar: Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy.