Cultural Pluralism And More: Revisiting the University’s Legacy Jewish Scholars at The New School

The Jewish Cultural Studies program presents a free panel discussion on the legacy of Jewish Scholars at The New School on Monday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor. This evening explores the intellectual traditions that helped make The New School what it is today. Panelists will also consider how Jewish scholars conceived of their relationship to Jewish cultural and intellectual traditions.

The distinguished panel moderated by Val Vinokur, director of Jewish Studies, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, discusses the legacy of Horace Kallen, Hans Jonas, and Hannah Arendt, as well as the University in Exile, which was created in 1933 by Alvin Johnson, New School president, as a haven for European scholars endangered by Hitler’s and Mussolini’s regimes.

The panelists are leaders in their respective fields. James Livingston, author of Pragmatism, Feminism, and Democracy, describes the intellectual legacy of Horace Kallen, a founding member of The New School faculty who coined the phrase cultural pluralism., Professor Livingston is currently a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library and is writing a book on Horace Kallen titled The Pitfalls of Pluralism. Judith Friedlander, former dean of the Graduate Faculty and author of Vilna on the Seine: Jewish Intellectuals in France Since 1968, discusses Alvin Johnson’s creation of the University in Exile in 1933. A professor of anthropology at Hunter College, she is now writing a history of The New School for Social Research. Richard J. Bernstein, Vera List Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research and author of Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question, discusses Hans Jonas, a founder of bioethics who repudiated his mentor Heidegger, fought against Hitler, took part in Israel’s war of independence, and taught at The New School from the 1950s until the 1970s. Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, an internationally-known graduate of The New School and author of Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, discusses Arendt’s encounters with the Jewish scholars already at The New School.