On Revolution (2014)

onrevolution-onlineHistory is filled with revolutions. From the French revolution, indigenous struggles or the women’s liberation moment to the Arab Spring, all have attempted to change the structures of power. Some revolutions succeeded in bringing forth greater liberty and freedom while others only brought forth tyranny. But:

– What exactly is a revolution?
– What really motivates the revolution and its revolutionaries?
– When can a revolution be considered successful?

In her classic work On Revolution, Hannah Arendt compares the American and French revolutions, and argues that all subsequent revolutions in the West have roughly followed the model of one of those two. Using supplementary texts, we want to expand the scope of her analysis to revolutionary traditions throughout the world, to see how they relate to each other and more importantly, what we can learn from them.

We collectively decide which subtopics to cover, by splitting up into groups, which will each organize one of the sessions. The reading group will be in English, and consist of six sessions, held on Wednesday evenings from 19.30 to 22.00 in the bookstore de Rooie Rat, Oudegracht 65, Utrecht from May 7th to June 18th 2014.

This reading group is self-organized and absolutely free. Anybody is free to join. Don’t worry if you cannot attend every session; we will post summaries of every session on the website.