Between the acts: at home in uncertain times

by Timothy Andrews

In the current pandemic, we find ourselves in a similar situation to that of Virginia Woolf’s audience in Between the Acts. Forced into our homes as a result of lockdown measures, a mirror is held up to us so that we can see the intimacy of our lives under the stark light of history unfolding in the present. Like Woolf’s audience, we too are on the cusp of a new era.

COVID-19 remapping East Asian Modernity

by Mark Harrison

The political meaning of the virus is contending constantly with its biological realities. But as its transmission has slowed in Asia, it is leaving behind newly calcified traces of the long-standing enmities, political compromises and aspirations of different modernist visions set in place in the early 20th century history of modernisation in Asia.

Agnes Heller (1929-2019): A Personal-Philosophical Memoir

I remember it clearly, as if it was yesterday, the day I first met Ágnes Heller. It was early in 1980 on the ground floor of La Trobe University’s Social Sciences building. I had an appointment with her. I had come to ask her if she would supervise my PhD. I had read an article she had published in Telos journal on ethics, and I felt a strong affinity with it. I brought with me my Honours thesis on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. As I got to her office she appeared—both of us characteristically on time. My first impression: a short woman with penetrating deeply intelligent eyes. My lasting impression: she appeared with slightly damp hair and a towel around her shoulders. She’d been swimming in the university pool, one of her life-long favourite activities.

Modernity and Civilisation II: Call for Papers

We call for papers under the broad horizons of these arcs, modernity and civilisation, working within and beyond the fields engaged by Thesis Eleven over the last forty years. Agnes Heller’s theories of modernity and its competing logics offer one frame of reference. The Western discourses she worked within also reach back to the Greeks and beyond. The narratives and interests inhabited by our Chinese colleagues reach into new modernities and back to long Chinese traditions of civilisation. These are possible parameters for papers. We are open to suggestion for other ideas.

Video: Agnes Heller on Globalisation and Modernity

Agnes Heller discusses modernity and globalisation at the ‘Workshop on Civilisation and Modernity’ hosted by Sichuan University and co-sponsored by Thesis Eleven. Heller argues that technology, science, popular culture and high culture are all globalised in modernity whereas political traditions and social relations retain particular cultural and regional articulations.