Agnes Heller (1929-2019)

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Prof. Fu Qilin and Prof. Agnes Heller review the first issue of Thesis Eleven at the 2018 Conference on Eastern European Critical Theory at Sichuan University (photograph: Sian Supski)

It is with deep sadness that we write to inform the Thesis Eleven community that Agnes Heller died on Friday the 19th of July, 2019. Agnes was our friend and teacher for more than 40 years. Her work appeared in our first issue, and it will continue to do so as we celebrate her life and work in events in Melbourne and Sydney in November 2019. Her energy and insight, her spark and generosity live on as life examples to us all.

In late last year Thesis Eleven had the good fortune of spending a week with Agnes at events hosted at Sichuan University and co-sponsored by Thesis Eleven. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on our relationship which resulted in plans for a series of events in Melbourne and Sydney with Agnes this November coming. These plans are currently being reorganised as a celebration of her life and work. We will be providing more details soon.

You will find short video clips of Agnes from the events at Sichuan University last year  here and here, a recent obituary written by Agnes for Maria Markus here and exchange between Agnes and Jürgen Habermas here. There is also a special online virtual  issue of Thesis Eleven that brings together her articles published in the journal over our 40 year friendship and a recent special issue of Thesis Eleven engaging with Agnes’s philosophy.

The Philosopher’s Zone on ABC RN has produced a recent program ‘Remembering Agnes Heller‘ featuring Agnes’ own voice alongside reflections from Thesis Eleven founding editor Peter Beilharz.

Agnes’s words will be missed in the pages of Thesis Eleven but we look forward to the ways in which her ideas and inspiration will live on as tradition celebrated by the journal.

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