ANDREAS RECKWITZ: LOSS AND MODERNITY



Published
5:52 Paul Kottman Introduction
15:10 Andreas Reckwitz Lecture
54:00 Andreas and Paul discussion
1:09:30 Audience Q&A

Modern society is based on positive expectations towards the future, above all within the framework of an imperative of progresses. Losses disappoint this narrative of progress, though: losses of status, of meaning, of control or of the belief in the future itself. The result is a paradoxical constellation of losses which is typical of modernity: This society wants to reduce losses and increases them at the same time. It systematically seeks to make experiences of losses invisible and at the same time develops certain forms of 'doing loss‘ like nostalgia and risk calculation. Not at least in connection with climate change, but also with a general more catastrophic outlook on societal development, in late-modern society, the problem of losses gains an extraordinary prominence. The aim of the presentation by Andreas Reckwitz is to develop an outline of a sociology of loss.

Paul Kottman, Professor of Comparative Literature and chair of Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research, will introduce Reckwitz and moderate a discussion.

Andreas Reckwitz was born in Witten in 1970. He studied sociology, political science and philosophy at the universities of Bonn, Hamburg and Cambridge. After professorships at the University of Konstanz and the European University Viadrina, he is Professor of General Sociology and Cultural Sociology at the Humboldt University Berlin. He has held numerous fellowships and visiting professorships in Germany and abroad, including at the University of Berkeley, the London School of Economics, the Universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg, Witten/ Herdecke, and Bielefeld, the Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna, and the University of St. Gallen. He currently holds a fellowship at the Thomas Mann House.

In 2019, he was awarded the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation. In 2017 he received the Bavarian Book Prize, in 2020 he was shortlisted for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize, and in 2021 he received the Academy Medal of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. From 2012 to 2020 he was a member of the advisory board "Education and Discourse" of the Goethe-Institut.

Andreas Reckwitz has published a number of widely discussed books on the theory of modernity and late modernity, including Die Erfindung der Kreativität (Suhrkamp 2012; English Polity 2017), Die Gesellschaft der Singularitäten (Suhrkamp 2017; English Polity 2020), Das Ende der Illusionen (Suhrkamp 2019, English Polity 2021), and Spätmoderne in der Krise (with Hartmut Rosa; Suhrkamp 2021; English Polity forthcoming). His books have been translated into 15 languages. Reckwitz regularly publishes in the German national press, including Die Zeit and Der Spiegel.

Presented in cooperation with the DFG German Research Foundation, 1014: Space for Ideas and Thomas Mann House.
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