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PANEL DISCUSSION

PANEL DISCUSSION

DEMOCRACY IS CONTROVERSY PLUS SOLIDARITY: IN THE ABSENCE OF KRZYSZTOF MICHALSKI

SATURDAY MAY 04, 06:30 PM

The Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York present this transdisciplinary conversation in memoriam of Krzysztof Michalski, who passed away in February. Michalski was a public intellectual who left a significant mark on the political and cultural discourse between East- and Western Europe and the United States ever since he founded the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna in 1982. He celebrated controversy as a necessary aesthetic form of democracy and yearned for solidarity as a main characteristic of humanity.

A passionate philosopher and political activist with the Polish democratic opposition before 1989, he created places and moments for engaging debates between former enemies within Central and Eastern European societies. He built bridges between East and West, rich and poor, and developed a forward looking network of intellectual excellence searching for a new, more solidaric and equitable global order. Michalski celebrated controversy as a necessary aesthetic form of democracy and yearned for solidarity as a main characteristic of humanity.

With: Alfred Gusenbauer (Former Austrian Prime Minister, Vienna), Cynthia Haven (Cultural Journalist, Stanford), Irena Grudzinska Gross (Princeton), Marci Shore (Yale), Timothy Snyder (Yale); moderated and hosted by Andreas Stadler and Jerzy Onuch (New York)


ABOUT KRZYSZTOF MICHALSKI

In 1982, Krzysztof Michalski founded the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, of which he was the rector until his sudden death in February 2013. He studied philosophy at the University of Warsaw, where he attained habilitation with a study on Logic and Time. From 1987, Michalski taught philosophy at Boston University. Since 1990, he co-chaired seminars at IWM's annual Cortona Summer School on Philosophy and Politics.

In preparation of the Eastern expansion of the EU, Michalski advised the European Commission on several occasions, most notably as chairman of the Reflection Group The Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe (2002–04). He was also the chairman of the Institute for Public Affairs in Warsaw, and president of the Network of European Institutes for Advanced Study (NetIAS).

He was the editor of the bi-annual journal Transit: Europäische Revue published with Verlag Neue Kritik, Frankfurt am Main, and the series Castelgandolfo-Gespräche (1985-1998) published with Klett-Cotta in Stuttgart.


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