Northwestern Events Calendar


Benjamin's Critique of Violence: A German and Latin American Critical Theory Cooperation Event

When: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Kresge Hall, 3535, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sarah Peters   (847) 491-3864

Group: Critical Theory

Category: Academic


Faculty and graduate book discussion of Christoph Menke's Law and Violence.

Christoph Menke in Dialogue with:

María Del Rosario Acosta (DePaul University)

Ronald Mendoza-De Jesús (University of Southern California)

Rocío Zambrana (University of Oregon)

The workshop includes a brief presentation from Christoph Menke; responses from Rocío Zambrana (University of Oregon) and Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús (University of Southern California); comments from graduate students; and further comments from Menke and María del Rosario Acosta López (DePaul).

In his Law and Violence, Menke offers a critical reading of Walter Benjamin's “Critique of Violence,” and focuses on the fundamental question for legal and political philosophy: the relationship between law and violence. The first part of the essay shows why and in what precise sense the law is irreducibly violent; the second part establishes the possibility of the law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence.

The english translation of this book is accompanied by numerous commentaries, including one by Acosta, who will be present to discuss the project with Menke. Acosta’s commentary focuses on the possible relation between this project and transitional justice processes in South America and South Africa.

The event will be in workshop format, and can accept the first 20 students who sign up. Participants are asked to read Menke’s (short) Law and Violence in advance, along with Acosta’s response (“Between Law and Violence: Towards a Re-thinking of Legal Justice in Transitional Justice Contexts”). The text will be supplied to participants on request. Further background reading is Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence.”

Participants who would also like to pose a formal (5 minute) response to Menke and Acosta should email The workshop will be able to accommodate only a limited number of formal responses.

Sponsors: Critical Theory Cluster, Department of Philosophy, Department of Political Science, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literary Studies Program, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. In cooperation with DePaul University's Department of Philosophy.

More Info Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in