Dear All,


Please join us Monday, June 5, for the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (REECA) workshop!



Our final paper of the quarter is:


“Finding a Light in Dark Times: “Finding a Light in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt, Ivan Turgenev, and the Possibility of Judgment without Tradition”

Chris Chambers, MAPSS Student (UChicago)




Much can be said, and has been said, about the various strains of Hannah Arendt’s political thought. Comparatively little attention has been paid, however, to the importance of tradition and its absence in the modern era. In this paper — this draft is part of a larger MA thesis project — I foreground the loss of tradition to illuminate the possible shortcomings of Arendt’s theory of political judgment. These shortcomings come to the fore, I argue, if we begin with the political theorist-political agent distinction at the heart of Arendt’s understanding of judgment. I add force to this claim through a close reading of Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. I argue that Fathers and Sons captures the implausibility of judgment in the absence of tradition. I conclude by gesturing toward the resonance these claims have with America’s contemporary political moment.


Discussant: Dalaina Heiberg, Political Science PhD Student (UChicago)

June 5, 2017

11am-12:20pm in Foster Hall, Room 103

University of Chicago 


Tea and cookies will be served. You are welcome to bring your lunch.


The paper is available on our website under the ‘Papers’ tab.

Please contact me ( if you have any questions about this workshop or if you believe you may need assistance.