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Gramercy, Manhattan
30 Irving Pl
Btwn E 15th & E 16th Streets
New York, New York 10003
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 12

What you'll learn in this history lesson:

Shocks and Phantasmagoria: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project

Walter Benjamin once wrote that The Arcades Project was “the theater of all my struggles and all my ideas.” Never completed and well over a decade in the making, The Arcades Project takes on the presentation and history of an entire era and place: the Parisian Arcades of the early 19th century. Via quotations, observations, commentaries, philosophical fragments, and “literary montage,” Benjamin attempts a better understanding of the conditions that fashioned not only that era, but also his own. This extraordinary text focuses on some of the most key questions a philosopher can ask: How should we understand the world around us? How should we interpret this world? How should we understand its time? What are social phenomena, history, philosophy, and criticism? What are they for? We will examine selections from The Arcades Project alongside other related writings by Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Theodor Adorno, and later commentators in an attempt to understand Benjamin’s philosophy of historical materialism, as well as the shocks and phantasmagoria of our own time.

The Goethe-Institut New York is pleased to announce this new edition of Shocks and Phantasmagoria: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project , a class presented in collaboration with the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as part of an ongoing partnership.

There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

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Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.


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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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