Donnerstag – Samstag

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Normative Ordnungen

Netzwerk Paulskirche

Netzwerk Paulskirche

Since its birth at the end of the 18th century, modern democracy has proved to be more than a system of government: forms of governance and ways of living dovetail as to formulate its structural complexity. Already in classical antiquity, politicians and thinkers observed the profound influence of the self-governing collective in shaping individual sensibilities; the modern democratic mechanism of representation increases and foregrounds such structural complexity, seeing the self-actualization of the demos and selection of political representatives via aesthetic media and strategies. Indeed, the aesthetic dimensions reveal modern democracies to be life-forms. That is, democracies reach deep into the fabric of life, cultivating certain modes of conduct, forms of communication, artistic practices, individual as well as collective forms of experience – all of which intertwine and shape the lives of those involved.

The international graduate conference »The Aesthetics of Democratic Life-Forms« thus seeks to understand aesthetics not as a disparate, hostile sphere in relation to democracy – an assumption which posits the aestheticization of politics to be inherently anti-democratic –, nor as a structurally analogous foil for democratic politics. Rather, this conference hopes to shed light on how aesthetic practices and phenomena provide insight into democratic life-forms, as well as how political practices and discussions implicate modes of conduct whose aesthetic dimensions lend themselves to productive analysis.

Keynotes and invited speakers include Steffen Andrae, Susan Buck-Morss, Eva-Maria Ciesla, Dorothea Douglas, Anne Eusterschulte, Sören Fiedler, Rainer Forst, Jason Frank, Daniel Hartley, Dominik Herold, Rob Horning, Martin Jay, Antje Krause-Wahl, Bianca Laliberté, Sandra Laugier, Leonie Licht, Sophie Loidolt, Jaka Lombar, Patchen Markell, Sabine Müller, Claudia Young-joo Park, Francesca Raimondi, Martin Renz, Leonhard Riep, Samuel Rosenblum, William Ross, Martin Saar, Jochen Schuff, Julius Schwarzwälder, Samu/elle Striewski, Nathan Taylor, Katrin Trüstedt, Johannes Völz, Franziska Wildt, Johanna Wurz, a.o.

The conference is organized by the university initiative Ästhetik demokratischer Lebensformen in collaboration with the Institute for Social Research, the Cluster Initiative ConTrust at the Research Institute Normative Orders, and Netzwerk Paulskirche, as well as the planned Graduiertenkolleg »Ästhetik der Demokratie« and the project »Democratic Vistas: Reflections on the Atlantic World« at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften.

The conference will be held in english. Prior registration is encouraged under

Donnerstag – Sonntag

Campus Bockenheim

Tagungen, Konferenzen, Workshops

Tagungen, Konferenzen, Workshops

Critical Theory in Motion - Dance into Multidimensionality

The Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023. To mark this occasion, the 10th biennial conference of the International Herbert Marcuse Society (IHMS) will take place in Frankfurt am Main, October 5-8 at the Student House on the Bockenheim campus, established in 1953 by Max Horkheimer, and the Archive Center of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt.

While known as the »Frankfurt School«, for more than three decades now, numerous archival materials publications of documents, letters, drafts, photographs, and other materials of its members are scattered across Germany. From the University of Frankfurt, which houses the archives of Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal, and Max Horkheimer, to the collections of Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin which are at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, as well as Erich Fromm’s archive in the University of Tübingen, have provided from these different vantages new insights on the Institute for Social Research. The conference will not only reflect this multidimensionality of Critical Theory, but also ask Marcusean questions: Are we still living in a one-dimensional society? What is a multidimensional concept of in a time of overlapping crises? Despite the current forces of repression what are the possibilities for a multidimensional society?

The conference will accept abstract submissions and papers on broadly conceived topics related to Herbert Marcuse’s critique and reflections of society. Abstracts that address the themes of the conference and engage with the founders of Critical Theory are especially welcome.

The eight panels and two round table discussions that will be considered at the conference are oriented around the following themes:

  1. Criticism of capitalism, in particular its contradictions between the global »North« and »South«
  2. Analyses of Anti-Semitism and National Socialism in Critical Theory
  3. Feminism and Critical Theory
  4. Political Practice of (New) Social Movements and the power(lessness) of NGOs
  5. Psychoanalysis and social criticism
  6. The possibilities of solidarity in times of crises
  7. The role of »rackets« in Critical Theory as an analytical tool of social, political, and economic critique
  8. Friendship and utopia
  9. New research results to Herbert Marcuse

We also invite proposals for participants in two six-person roundtable discussions

  1. Education for maturity – What is the role of critical pedagogy today?
  2. Liberating or oppressive violence – Are there justified wars?


Panels will open with a 30-minute keynote presentation and then four 15-minute presentations by panel members. Roundtables will coordinate among themselves.

Send abstracts of 600 words (max.) to the organizers (see below) by April 30th, 2023. Decisions for participation will be made by June 15th

The conference will take place in the Student House (Campus Bockenheim) and the Archive Center of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University/Frankfurt. A reader with partly unpublished texts from the archives of Marcuse and Löwenthal will be published for the conference. During the conference, two guided tours will take place at the Institute for Social Research (please book in advance; details to follow). In addition to events at the university's archive center, the various archives of Critical Theory will be exhibited, and there will be a workshop for digital access to the archives.

The conference fee for all days is 40 Euro for students, and 70 Euro for faculty, staff, and community members. A single day registration is 15 Euro.

Organizers: Peter-Erwin Jansen, M.A. Philosophy (International Herbert Marcuse Society, Marcuse/Löwenthal Archive, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences)
Dr. Inka Engel (Educational and Research Community on Herbert Marcuse and Leo Löwenthal, University of Koblenz)

Coordinating Team: Alexander Neupert, and Lisa Doppler, Thomas Gebauer, Taylor Hines, Robert Kirsch, Maley, Harold Marcuse, Terr Maley, Sarah Surak.

Conference Partners and Sponsors: The International Herbert Marcuse Society (IHMS), Institut für Sozialforschung (IfS), Archivzentrum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, ASTA and Editors of the ASTA newspaper/Universität Frankfurt, Bildungs- und Forschungsgemeinschaft zu Herbert Marcuse und Leo Löwenthal (HMLL e.V.)/Frankfurt, zu Klampen Verlag/Hannover-Springe, Raiders of the Storm/Frankfurt.

Please submit abstracts to:




Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt

Öffentliche Vorträge

Öffentliche Vorträge

Am 9. Oktober jährt sich der Anschlag auf die Synagoge und den Döner-Imbiss in Halle zum vierten Mal. Das Gerichtsverfahren gegen den Attentäter wurde im Dezember 2020 abgeschlossen. Doch der rechtsextreme Terror wirkt noch immer nach. In Solidarität mit den Überlebenden thematisieren Kulturschaffende, Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten sowie Autorinnen und Autoren immer wieder das Verhältnis des Terroranschlags zu anderen rechten Gewalttaten und kritisieren den Gerichtsprozess. Welche Strategien verfolgen sie, um die Kontinuitäten rechtsextremer Gewalt zu bekämpfen? Und welche Rolle kann Kunst im Prozess der Aufarbeitung dieser Gewalt über das Gerichtsverfahren hinaus spielen?

Ein Gespräch mit Esther Dischereit (Essayistin und Lyrikerin), Linus Kebba Pook (Journalist und Videograf) sowie Anna Shapiro (Künstlerin und Publizistin).

Moderation: Dr. Felix Trautmann (Institut für Sozialforschung, Frankfurt)

Zu Beginn des Gesprächs wird die Videoarbeit „Elegy“ (2020, 6:25 Min) der Künstlerin Talya Feldman gezeigt.

Wir bitten um Anmeldung bis Mi, 11. Oktober, an:

Der Eintritt ist kostenfrei.


Campus Bockenheim

100 Jahre IfS

100 Jahre IfS