The Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University provides high level academic programming to energize the campus and promotes innovative research and scholarship through our faculty and visiting fellows program. Explore our website to learn more about our Monday night lecture series (6 p.m. in Daniel Family Commons), fellowships, Director’s blog, and the many other exciting endeavors emanating from the Center.
HOPE AND HOPELESSNESS
The confidence of earlier epochs seems to have evaporated from our own. Progress, modernization, freedom, equality, enlightenment: the list of hopeful concepts from an ever-receding past is a long one. And yet ours is not the first era to grapple with despair or promises seemingly unfulfilled. At the same time, a counterpoint surge in utopian thinking seems to validate Ernst Bloch's intuitions about a fundamental utopian impulse. An impulse that likewise can be traced to distant times or places. Are hope and hopelessness interdependent sensibilities or is this a peculiar characteristic of our times? This semester's program will explore past, present, and emerging landscapes of hope and hopelessness, perhaps with Kafka's rejoinder to Max Brod in our ear: “Oh, plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope--but not for us.”