March 4, 2016
MEDIA: Christopher Lupke, Chair of the WSU Humanities Planning Group, 509-335-2755, email@example.com
Debbie Brudie, Manager of the WSU Humanities Planning Group, 509-335-6866, firstname.lastname@example.org
Claudia Leeb discusses dealing with national guilt at March 22 WSU Humanities Fellow Lecture
PULLMAN, Wash.—“The Tragedy of Silence: Guilt and Democracy” is a March 22 Washington State University presentation that analyzes court documents of Austrian Nazi perpetrators that have recently come to the fore. This free, public lecture by Claudia Leeb, assistant professor of political theory and a 2015-16 Humanities Fellow, begins at 5:30 p.m. in Honors Hall Lounge, followed by refreshments.
“Leeb’s lecture is the third and final Fellows lecture for this academic year,” said Christopher Lupke, Chair of the WSU Humanities Planning Group (HPG), and host of the event.
Leeb’s lecture topic is also the title of her upcoming newest book. In it, she applies the political and social theory of Western Marxist thinkers such as Hannah Arendt and Theodor W. Adorno to the example of Austrian National-Socialism, “to demonstrate that guilt is a central emotion that democratic regimes must adequately deal with in order to create inclusive and functioning social and political communities.” Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-born, Jewish American political theorist who escaped Europe during the Holocaust. Adorno (1903-1969) was a German philosopher, sociologist, and composer who also rode out the Holocaust in the US.
International academic experience
Claudia Leeb works at the intersection of political theory, philosophy, history, psychology and women’s studies, and her appointment is in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. She joined the WSU faculty in fall 2012 having previously worked at Roanoke College in Virginia, and been a visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth College, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies, a research fellow at Mount Holyoke College, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Vienna in Austria and Princeton University.
Her Ph.D. in political philosophy is from The New School for Social Research in New York City. She also holds a PhD. in psychology and philosophy of science is from the University of Vienna in Austria. At the New School, she also earned an M.A. in gender studies and feminist theory, and at the University of Vienna, a B.S. and M.S. in psychology. She did coursework in Poland, and at the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies in South Africa.
A Fulbright Fellow, her teaching and research interests cover contemporary political theory and philosophy, 19th and 20th century European political thought, feminist political thought, the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, and psychoanalysis.
She has published two books: Working-class Women in Elite Academic: A Philosophical Inquiry and Die Zerstörung des Mythos von der Friedfertigen Frau: Der Einfluss von Sozialen Gruppenkontexten auf das Direkte Aggressionsverhalten von Frauen (The Destruction of the Peaceful Woman Myth: The Impact of Social Group Contexts on the Direct Aggression Behavior of Women”).
In addition to “Guilt and Democracy,” she has two other books in preparation. “The Possibilities of the Limit: The Political Subject-in-Outline,” providing a philosophical foundation for contemporary political and feminist theorizing that introduces the “moment of the limit” and the political subject-in-outline as central components for an inclusive and transformative politics. Her second project, “Gender in International Scientific Migration,” shows that gender as well as class and racial injustices in the Austrian sciences contribute to the migration of female scientists to the U.S.
Humanities Fellows and Humanities Week
Convened in 2011, with strong support from the late President Elson S. Floyd, the HPG is working to establish a Center for the Humanities at WSU “to make the humanities accessible to all and to underscore their integral nature to intellectual life and society in general.” The HPG honors three WSU faculty each year by selecting humanities fellows on a competitive basis and sponsors their research initiatives with $12,500 grants; each fellow delivers one lecture on topics “that are of vital concern to our students and residents of Washington State.”
The HPG will host WSU’s third annual Humanities Week April 11-15, with keynote speaker William McKibben, two roundtable discussions, and other events. For more details, visit https://hub.wsu.edu/hpg/.