Conference – Patočka and the Grounds for Political Action – 8 November 2019

BSP News Item Thumbnail

Conference in London explores the contributions of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka to our understanding of the possibilities of political action.

Jan Patočka and the grounds for political action

8 November, 2019
Court Room, Senate House

This conference will explore the contributions of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka to our understanding of whether and how meaningful political action is possible—taking cues from his phenomenology, his essays on arts and culture, his writings on Europe, and his conception of sacrifice. The day will feature scholars of Patočka and Czech literature as well academics with who took part in the underground universities in the former Czechoslovakia.

Registration and further details at:

Conference programme

9:00 Arrival and Coffee

9:30 Welcome from Graham Henderson (Rimbaud and Verlaine Association) and Erin Plunkett (University of Hertfordshire)

Panel 1: Philosophical grounds
9:45 Francesco Tava (UWE): ‘Jan Patočka on Personal Exposure and Public Life’
10:15 Michaela Belejkaničová (UCL): ‘“When life is not everything”: Jan Patočka’s reflections on sacrifice and political action’
10:45 panel discussion

11:15 Coffee

Panel 2: Literature and the Arts
11:30 Jan Tlustý (Masaryk University): ‘Contemplating literature with Jan Patočka: phenomenology as an inspiration for literary criticism’
12:00 Erin Plunkett (Hertfordshire University): ‘”New human possibilities” in Patocka’s writings on literature and the arts’
12:30 panel discussion

13:00 Lunch

Panel 3: Resistance
14:00 Ivan Chvatik (director of the Patočka Archive in Prague): ‘Philosophy as looking for sense in senseless world’
14:30 Barbara Day (author of The Velvet Philosophers): ‘The Invisible Underground: Keeping Quiet about the Patočka University in the 1980s’
15:00 panel discussion

15:30 Tea

Panel 4: Patočka and Czech Culture
15:45 Jan Frei (deputy director of the Patočka Archive in Prague): ‘The Cultural Impact of Patočka’s Philosophy’
16:15 Astrid Muls (Université libre de Bruxelles): ‘Ricoeur’s Resistant Philosopher’
16:45 panel discussion

17:15 Concluding remarks

Evening Arts Event
18:30-20:30, featuring a performance of Beethoven’s Quartet No 15 in A Minor, Op 132 by the Echea Quartet and readings of Czech poetry in translation.

Booking for evening here: