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Conference: Revolutions - Finished and Unfinished, From Primal to Final
Date: 18-20 March 2010 

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

European Studies Conference

Revolutions: Finished and Unfinished, From Primal to Final

Date: March 18-20, 2010
Time: 10 am - 6 pm

Venue : Island Pacific Hotel

( By Invitation Only)
In Out of Revolution, an extraordinary account of the history of European revolutions, the German émigré social philosopher and sociologist Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy argued that the European nations were the products of revolutions, and that the European revolutions formed a sequential relationship in that “the pedigree of revolutions shows that each tried to realize one neglected or imperilled potentiality of the life-cycle, and stressed its importance by establishing one great national institution to take care of the reproduction of these special processes and types. Each Revolution started permanent cultural processes to mould a specific character out of plastic humanity.’   [Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man (New York: Berg Publishers, 1969 [1938]), p. 714.]

What interested him was not merely rebellion, but the attempt at a total transformation of the earth. In this respect revolutions were necessarily totalising in their ambitions, and “all believe themselves to be the vessel of eternal, revealed, definite truth. Only reluctantly do they come back to the old earth. Every revolution makes the painful discovery that it is geographically conditioned.” [Out of Revolution, p. 457.]

Taking seriously the strong claims of Rosenstock-Huessy, our group will go both deeply into the time before his thesis, which regards the last 1,000 years, into the “revolting” origins of humanity, and then far beyond, to dreams of an Omega-like “Singularity,” so-called “Transhumanism,” addressing along the way the more familiar and more recent Revolutions:  American, French, Russian, German, and Chinese-trying to gain different scholarly angles through substantial discussion as well as, more formally, by having some revolutions examined through contrasting or complementary pairs of papers.

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