chapter  6
21 Pages

Is Hannah Arendt a Multiculturalist?

ByAnn Lane

Hannah Arendt may appear to be an unlikely focus for a class on multicultural politics in a program that self-consciously attends to gender, class, race, and sexuality in its analyses. After all, many of Arendt's writings (particularly The Jew as Pariah, The Origins of Totalitarianism, and Eichmann in Jerusalem) deal mainly with Europe, not Asia or Latin America. This chapter discusses the concept of the conscious pariah, the distinction between the political and the social, and the notion of the council system. Perhaps Arendt is indeed a multiculturalist but one who needs multicultural readers, engaged in political action, who can comprehend that line of force in her work. The author utilize comparative works by US authors throughout the course to provide a third point of contact for the Arendt readings. Ardent's student's varied backgrounds gave them dissimilar points of entry for comparative analysis, so it was no easy task for them to explain their positions to one another.