Adorno Studies: an interdisciplinary journal


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We are excited to announce the the launch of Adorno Studies, a scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access journal. It has just published its inaugural issue, and you can find the journal here.

Here is the table of contents:

Kathy Kiloh, Martin Shuster
Iain Macdonald
Alastair Morgan
Surti Singh
Max Pensky
Deborah Cook
Pierre-François Noppen
Martin Shuster, Iain Macdonald

The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming


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Alex Ross has a piece in the New Yorker that should be of interest to many.

[Adorno’s] moment of vindication is arriving now. With the election of Donald Trump, the latent threat of American authoritarianism is on the verge of being realized, its characteristics already mapped by latter-day sociologists who have updated Adorno’s “F-scale” for fascist tendencies. […] As early as the forties, Adorno saw American life as a kind of reality show: “Men are reduced to walk-on parts in a monster documentary film which has no spectators, since the least of them has his bit to do on the screen.” Now a businessman turned reality-show star has been elected President. Like it or not, Trump is as much a pop-culture phenomenon as he is a political one.

New book: Adorno’s Theory of Philosophical and Aesthetic Truth


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Owen Hulatt (University of York) has written to us letting us know about the publication of his new book, Adorno’s Theory of Philosophical and Aesthetic Truth. The book promises to be an important and powerful new approach to Adorno and art. Here is the blurb from Columbia University Press:

In Adorno’s Theory of Philosophical and Aesthetic Truth, Owen Hulatt undertakes an original reading of Theodor W. Adorno’s epistemology and its material underpinnings, deepening our understanding of his theories of truth, art, and the nonidentical. Hulatt’s novel interpretation casts Adorno’s theory of philosophical and aesthetic truth as substantially unified, supporting the thinker’s claim that both philosophy and art are capable of being true.
For Adorno, truth is produced when rhetorical “texture” combines with cognitive “performance,” leading to the breakdown of concepts that mediate the experience of the consciousness. Both philosophy and art manifest these features, although philosophy enacts these conceptual issues directly, while art does so obliquely. Hulatt builds a robust argument for Adorno’s claim that concepts ineluctably misconstrue their objects. He also puts the still influential thinker into conversation with Hegel, Husserl, Frazer, Sohn-Rethel, Benjamin, Strawson, Dahlhaus, Habermas, and Caillois, among many others.

Continue reading

CFP: The Problem of Evil in Modern and Contemporary European Philosophy


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Martin Thibodeau wrote to us about a conference that he and Jamie Crooks are organizing at Bishop’s University next spring (April 28 and 29, 2017). Submissions on Adorno are welcome! The call for paper is here: The Problem of Evil Bishop’s University

Negative Dialectics @ Harvard


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Max Pensky wrote to let us know about an upcoming conference on Negative Dialectics that he and Peter Gordon are organizing this fall at Harvard. The conference will be held November 18 and 19, 2016, at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. You can find details about the program and the specific location here.

Next Meeting @ Duke University, 24-25 March


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We are pleased to announce that the 6th annual meeting of the Association for Adorno Studies will be hosted by Henry Pickford and Duke University. The meeting will be held March 24 and 25, 2017 in the Fredric Jameson Gallery at Duke.

More details will be posted here later this fall.


Previous meetings were held at:

April 29-30, 2016 – Université de Montréal

October 9-10, 2015 – The New School for Social Research

March 7-8, 2014 – University College Dublin

March 22-23, 2013 – Temple University

March 2-3, 2012 – Johns Hopkins University

CFP: International Conference on Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory (October 2017)


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Christophe David (University of Rennes 2) writes about a conference they are organizing on Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory in October of 2017. They have provided us with a very extensive CFP, and it is attached here.

International Conference Adorno Rennes

Negative Dialectics turns 50


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Two conferences will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Adorno’s Negative Dialectics in June.

First, Isabelle Aubert, Katia Genel, and Jean-François Kervégan are hosting a conference in Paris this week. PDFs of the poster and the program are available here (Paris Poster) and here (Paris Program).

Later in June, Marc Nicolas Sommer and Mario Schärli will be hosting a conference in Basel. PDFs of the poster and the program are available here (Basel Poster) and here (Basel Program).

They both look very exciting!

New book by Martin Jay


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Martin Jay (UC-Berkeley) has a new book called Reason after its Eclipse: On Late Critical Theory (University of Wisconsin, 2016), that ought to be of interest to readers. Here’s a blurb on the book:

Martin Jay tackles a question as old as Plato and still pressing today: what is reason, and what roles does and should it have in human endeavor? Applying the tools of intellectual history, he examines the overlapping, but not fully compatible, meanings that have accrued to the term “reason” over two millennia, homing in on moments of crisis, critique, and defense of reason.

After surveying Western ideas of reason from the ancient Greeks through Kant, Hegel, and Marx, Jay engages at length with the ways leading theorists of the Frankfurt School—Horkheimer, Marcuse, Adorno, and most extensively Habermas—sought to salvage a viable concept of reason after its apparent eclipse. They despaired, in particular, over the decay in the modern world of reason into mere instrumental rationality. When reason becomes a technical tool of calculation separated from the values and norms central to daily life, then choices become grounded not in careful thought but in emotion and will—a mode of thinking embraced by fascist movements in the twentieth century.

Is there a more robust idea of reason that can be defended as at once a philosophical concept, a ground of critique, and a norm for human emancipation? Jay explores at length the communicative rationality advocated by Habermas and considers the range of arguments, both pro and con, that have greeted his work.