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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Arendt and Political Theorising: Insights for the Humanities

Dr Mary Walsh.

Arendt's understanding of the political and political theory, as centrally concerned with freedom and human dignity, as key aspects to what it is to be human, provides a lost link to traditions in political theory that contemporary political theory, and the humanities more generally, would do well to reconnect with. The attempt to distinguish political theory (freedom as action in the public realm) from philosophy (thought and contemplation as invisible components of a dialogue with one's self) and social theory (necessity and the elimination of poverty) provides insights into the central importance of the public realm and political theory. The political theory of Arendt continues to provide one of the most promising chances for restoring the dignity and relevance of political theory for the humanities into the new millennium.


Dr Mary Walsh  (Australia)
Acting Senior Lecturer in Politics
Management and Policy
University of Canberra, ACT, Australia

Dr. Mary Walsh is Acting Senior Lecturer in Politics and B.Phil Honours Convenor at the University of Canberra, Australia. She teaches Political theory, Australian politics and Identity politics. She is the author of numerous journal articles (Philosophy in the Contemporary World, 2003; Australian Feminist Studies, 2003), book chapters (Challenging Subjects, ed. V. Walkerdine, 2002) and book reviews (Journal of Sociology, 2002; Political Studies, 2003; Contemporary Political Theory, 2003). She is currently completing Introducing Political Theory forthcoming with Sage, London. Her most recent work includes an interview with Professor Moira Gatens (University of Sydney, Australia) on 'Twenty years since the sex/gender distinction' to be published in Australian Feminist Studies. Her current research interests include the political theory of Arendt and the relationship between philosophy, critical theory, social and political theory.

  • Arendt
  • political theory
  • freedom
  • political
  • public realm
Person as Subject
  • Arendt, Hannah

(Virtual Presentation, English)