Politics Talk: The World Spectator

Politics Talk, Sharon Sliwinski, “The World Spectator”

April 11, 2013 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Location: The New School for Social Research, Wolff Conference Room, 6 East 16th Street, room 1103

Admission: Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

Sharon Sliwinski, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies University of Western Ontario will speak on “The World Spectator.”  

Abstract:  In her late work, Hannah Arendt discovered a figure of singular significance, what she termed “the world spectator.” In the period since Arendt’s death, the human capacity to survey world events has increased apace, but there has been relatively little attention paid to this figure to whom the spectacle is addressed. If all the world’s a stage, we are not all merely players, with our separate exits and entrances; we are also all spectators who watch what unfolds on the field of action. And as Arendt stressed, a spectator is not someone who thinks in the philosophical sense, but rather someone who judges. This activity of judgement, she wagered, is a decidedly political matter. My discussion will aim to outline the particular ways in which the world spectator’s regard of distant events has great consequence to the nebulous political community we call humanity