portrait Wedemeyer

Arnd Wedemeyer


German Studies / Theater Studies / Intellectual History / Critical Theory

ICI Berlin
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D-10119 Berlin


+49(0)30 473 7291-23


+49(0)30 473 7291-56


Arnd Wedemeyer earned his doctorate from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University and has held teaching positions in the German departments of Princeton and Duke Universities. His first monograph, “Expanses of Thought: Space Among Kant Husserl Heidegger,” shows how Kant’s worry about incongruent counterparts became the driving force for a progressively radicalized exteriorization of thought. Recent publications about the curse of political theology, the crippled absolutism of Enlightenment, about Kant and Babel, Kafka and Brod; recent lectures about Margarete Susman, Jean Amery, and Jacob Taubes, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Adalbert Stifter, Ernst Meister, and the role of the facsimile in the remediation of the literary.

ICI Project (2012-14)

1977 in Two Germanies: A Counter-History of the Non-Event

The year 1977 was marked by the struggle between the RAF and the state in the Federal Republic and by the expulsion of Wolf Biermann and subsequently many others from the GDR. These disparate events, however, were immediately understood as mere instantiations of state repression, a phenomenon that can only be understood if the cultural production that seems to react to these crises is simultaneously interpreted as part of their configuration. The project stipulates that the synchronizing effect this constellation had on the intellectual life of the two German states has to be related to an experience of a non-event. Its ultimate ambition is a recuperation of history as exceeding mere narrative, patchwork, or assemblage, that is, of history as a whole that is not one. The one-year study is uniquely positioned to reflect on the possibility of a historicizing universalism as the foundation of radical cultural practices and non-traditional revolutionary politics. In particular, I would like to show that such a historiography has to reckon with the irresolvable complementarity of fact and event, structure and process, without which history would revert to familiar modes of totalization.

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