Workshop | Christoph Menke's A Theory of Liberation

Activiteit van Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam

Datum: woensdag 5 april 2023 om 10:30 uur tot 16:30 uur
Locatie: UvA, Faculteitskamer 2, 1st floor of the Philosophy Department, Oude Turfmarkt 145, Amsterdam

Voertaal: Engels

Toegang: Aanmelden via
Workshop | Christoph Menke's A Theory of Liberation
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Het bijbelboek Exodus en Walter White uit Breaking Bad zijn volgens filosoof Christoph Menke twee illustraties van bevrijding en onderdrukking. Menke betoogt in zijn werk 'Theorie der Befreiung' dat we in een tijd van mislukte bevrijding leven: al onze pogingen tot bevrijding creërden later nieuwe vormen van onderdrukking. Op 5 april geeft hij over dit thema een workshop in Amsterdam. 


In his opus magnum on liberation, controversially discussed in many traditional and new media in Germany, Christoph Menke argues that we live in a time of failed liberations. All attempts at liberation, according to Menke, seen in the light of day, have sooner or later produced new forms of domination and thus of servitude. For Menke, the explanation of this situation requires a reversal of perspective. Instead of simply turning to the next liberation project, we need to analyze how the previous liberation attempts have gone. Its beginning is especially crucial - the ordinary but fascinating experience that a habit that binds us suddenly breaks: thus begins the practice of liberation.

From this basic thesis, Menke develops a groundbreaking theory of liberation, which includes a revision of the usual ideas of freedom – anchored in nature or society. It turns out that freedom and domination are inextricably intertwined, and liberation is not the prehistory of freedom, but its mode of implementation. This is illustrated by two surprising exemplary narratives on which this book draws heavily: the Exodus narrative from the 2nd book of Moses (Exodus) and the story of Walter White in the television series Breaking Bad.



Please register by sending an e-mail to In preparation for the workshop, you are encouraged to read the two chapters of A Theory of Liberation that will be discussed. You'll receive the texts a week before the workshop via e-mail. 



10.30 Location opens; coffee/tea available

11.00 Welcome & Christoph Menke: Introduction 
11.15 The Exodus from Servitude 

  • Comments by Dorothea Gädeke (Utrecht) & Francesca Raimondi (Düsseldorf) 
  • Response by Christoph Menke  

13.00 Lunch
14.30 The Liberation of Seeing 

  • Comments by Katharina Bauer (Rotterdam) & Tom Vandeputte (Sandberg Institute Amsterdam) 
  • Response by Christoph Menke  

16.30 Coffee & Break 

20.00 Christoph Menke: A Theory of Liberation (public talk at SPUI25, Spui 25-27, 1012XA Amsterdam; regristration through SPUI25)

  • Talk by Christoph Menke, followed by a conversation with Titus Stahl (Groningen), moderated by Beate Roessler (Amsterdam)
Tags: filosofie

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