Sites of Appearance, Matters of Thought: Hannah Arendt and Performance Philosophy

Damian Martin, Diana (2019) Sites of Appearance, Matters of Thought: Hannah Arendt and Performance Philosophy. Performance Philosophy Journal, 5 (1). ISSN 2057-7176


This editorial introduces this special issue on the thresholds, borders, and dialogues between Hannah Arendt’s work and performance philosophy, bringing together contributions that investigate political resistance, thought, and practice. Arendt’s relevance to our times is ubiquitous: from the near constant citation of The Origins of Totalitarianism in relation to the recent rise in strong-man politics and resurgent ethnic nationalism, to her diagnosis of the plight of refugees, denied even the rights belonging to those that have broken the law, but instead placed outside the law. Contemporary political philosophy also bears numerous influences, in the thinking of Mouffe, Rancière, Nancy, Agamben, Brown, Butler, and more. For performance philosophy, we might engage with Arendt’s performative notion of politics itself, as exemplified in her idea of ‘spaces of appearance’, but also the performativity of thought, as well as the implications of Arendt’s work for phenomenology, governmentality, rights, and ecology. Contributors to this special issue also think through the relevance of Arendt’s work for an anti-colonial and anti-racist political praxis, and for post and non-human political ethics, judgment, and thinking.


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