Beyond the Dialectical Imagination: A Conference in Honor of Martin Jay

This conference celebrates Martin Jay’s career as a professor of European intellectual history for forty-five years at UC Berkeley. All thirty-one speakers had him as their primary advisor for their doctoral study. Their work today demonstrates the breadth of Professor Jay’s impact beyond his own publications, within the academy and without. His former students work in universities in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Others have pursued careers in law, journalism, and public policy. Taken as a whole, the work of Professor Jay’s students is a testament to the defining presence of his example for the field of European intellectual history, as well as the strength of its legacy.

This conference is free and open to the public.


Conference Schedule 

Friday, October 7


Opening Remarks | Nils Gilman

Panel 1 – Chaired by Thomas Laqueur
Against the Melancholy of Anti‐Utopianism in West Germany | Jennifer Allen
A Musical Apprenticeship: Adorno and Berg | Peter Gordon
The Börne  Identity | Alexander Soros
“What is it Like to be a Vat?” Blumenbergian Notes on the Strange Case of Laboratory-grown Meat | Benjamin Wurgaft

Panel 2 – Chaired by John Efron
Omai of Othaiti and Reb Moshe Mi – Dessau in the Public Sphere | Abraham Socher
Toward a Political History of European Jewry | David Sorkin
Does the Jewish Question Exist in Hungary? A Debate over Two Types of Jewish Assimilation in Hungary in the First World War | Eiko Kuwana


Panel 3 – Chaired by StefanLudwig Hoffmann
Is a Conceptual History of Terrorism Possible? | Julian Bourg
Genocide, A Keyword: Methodological Challenges | Dirk  Moses
Revisiting the Conceptual History of Transitional Justice | Paige Arthur
How (not) to Write the History of Whole Earth | Benjamin Lazier

Panel 4 – Chaired by James Vernon
Genealogy and Critical Historicism: Two Concepts of Enlightenment in Adorno and Horkheimer’s Writings | John Abromeit
The Animal Between the Wars: The Frankfurt School, the College of Sociology, and the Spirit of Reconciliation | David Delano
Critical Theory and the 68ers | Elliot Neaman
The Underground Imaginary from Antifascism to Counterculture | Terence Renaud


Saturday, October 8


Panel 5 – Chaired by Carla Hesse
The Figure of the Barbarian in Henri de Boulainvilliers’s Political Thought | Andrew Jainchill
Montage, Fantasy, and the Geography of the Sublime in the Primal History of the Nineteenth­‐Century Atlantic World | Richard Kim
The First Third World | Michael Gubser
Reading the Canon Contrapuntally with Said | Nicholas Barr Clingan

Panel 6 – Chaired by Paula Fass
Niklas Luhmann’s Sympathy for the Devil: On Cybernetic Demonology | Ari Edmundson
Cybernetics and Totality: The Renewed Importance of the Habermas­‐Luhmann Debate for Critical Theory | Gregory Moynahan
Simmel, Interdisciplinarity, Theory | Elizabeth Goodstein
The Death of Immortality: Afterlife of an Argument from Adorno to Lefort | Warren Breckman


Panel 7 – Chaired by John Connelly
Obligatory Blasphemy | Alice Bullard
Human Rights and the Welfare State | Samuel Moyn
Truth and Meaning in Intellectual History | Knox Peden
Notes on an Intellectual History of Institutions | Noah Strote

Panel 8 – Chaired by Beth Berry
Before Unemployment: The Criminalization of Idleness in Modern Europe | Emanuel Rota
Governing an Unknowable Future: Law, Exception, and the Logic of Precautionary Surveillance | Lawrence Frohman
Durkheim and Girard on the Scapegoat | Melissa Ptacek
The Science of Religion, Religious Experience and Islamwissenschaft | David Moshfegh

5:15 Closing Remarks by Martin Jay

Supported by the Department of History, the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Chair, the Peder Sather Chair, the Program in Critical Theory, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.