workshop. March 24–26, 2017, Berlin

This workshop is interested in the relation between Benjamin’s work with different kinds of material and its conceptual articulation. The point of departure will be Benjamin’s working notes (Arbeitskonvolute in German, which are elaborate and systematized collections) dealing with sociohistorical and political topics (e.g. the working notes of his Arcades Project E: Haussmannization, Barricade Fighting, U: Saint-Simon, Railroads, V: Conspiracies, Compagnonnage, W: Fourier, X: Marx, a: Social Movement, k: The Commune). These notes should neither be read as mere collections nor as a hodgepodge from which passages can be extracted randomly and integrated into a presumed theory. Rather, Benjamin’s method should be carved out by confronting both reciprocally: the material collections and sources, on the one hand, and the concepts and theory he developed, on the other. Read more...