Reanimating Romanticism

For most of the recent century, romanticism has variously identified with repressive forms of communitarianism and nationalism, with kitsch and cultural conservatism, and with a dangerous aestheticization of politics. Antimodern, antidemocratic, quietistic, narcissistic, masculinist, and effeminate –the list of romanticism’s purported sins is very long indeed. Given these various sins, what can explain the resurgent interest in romanticism today? What does it signal? Perhaps, it signals that we are not as far removed from romanticism as we have believed. What if, the speaker will claim even more radically, that rather than preceding modernism, romanticism succeeds it – succeeds it not just in time, but succeeds where modernism – and postmodernism – have failed?

Nikolas Kompridis is Research Professor in Philosophy and Political Thought, and the Director of the Institute for Social Justice at the Australian Catholic University. He is the author of Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory Between Past and FutureThe Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought, and Philosophical Romanticism, as well as many papers on various topics in philosophy and political theory.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016
4 pm, CSDS Seminar Room