CFP: Warburg, Benjamin and Kulturwissenschaft (London, June 2012)

The Warburg Institute, London, June 14 - 15, 2012
Deadline: Jun 30, 2011

Warburg, Benjamin and Kulturwissenschaft

A Conference organised by Claudia Wedepohl and Peter Mack

In continental Europe the intellectual legacy of Aby Warburg is currently a major topic of debate. Several eminent German art historians have announced that the completion of the edition of Warburg’s writings is now a national priority. As the holder of Warburg’s papers the Warburg Institute is activley involved in editing Warburg’s writings. Walter Benjamin was almost a generation younger, but his legacy, in contrast, is much more widely discussed. The comparative cultural historical method Warburg and Benjamin introduced independently, offers ample ground for comparison as scholars have shown in recent years. By looking at historical periods with a similar transitional character, Warburg and Benjamin developed radically new ways of perceiving and presenting the historical changes they observed. Above all they were both interested in human psychology as a constitutional factor for the phenomenon called ‘culture’. The terminology they developed through intuition is based on similar ideas, and has indeed become part of the language of the discipline of cultural history.

The aim of this conference to explore the parallels between two eminent theoretical thinkers and to inspire a new attention to Warburg’s writings in the UK. Invited speakers include: Horst Bredekamp (Berlin), Howard Caygill (Kingston), Georges Didi-Huberman (EHSS, Paris), Karen Lang (USC), Matthew Rampley (Birmingham), Frederic Schwartz (UCL), and Cornelia Zumbusch (Munich). We plan to include more speakers, however, and we invite proposals for papers from all fields relating to Aby Warburg’s and Walter Benjamin’s writings, the origin and genesis of their ideas and their interrelation.

Every effort will be made to provide all transportation and lodging costs for speakers, but since the funding for this event has not yet been fully resolved, potential participants should try to secure independent sources of support that can be used if necessary.

Please send a single-page abstract and a single page curriculum vitae by 30 June 2011 to:

Registration Details will be posted in Autumn 2011

CFP: Warburg, Benjamin and Kulturwissenschaft (London, June 2012). In:, May 31, 2011 (accessed Jul 18, 2019), <>.

Contributor: Claudia Wedepohl, The Warburg Institute, London

Contribution published: May 31, 2011

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