Towards a Sociology of Loss

Oct 27, 2022  | 6:00 - 8:00PM ET

Lecture at the German Historical Institute Washington | Speaker: Andreas Reckwitz (Humboldt University Berlin)

 In collaboration with the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles 

Modern society is based on positive expectations of the future, above all within the framework of an imperative of progress. Losses disappoint this narrative of progress, though. The result is a paradoxical constellation of losses that is typical of modernity: this society wants to reduce losses yet escalates them at the same time. It systematically seeks to make experiences of losses invisible and at the same time develops certain forms of 'doing loss' (nostalgia, risk calculation, etc.). In late-modern society, the problem of losses – not least in connection with climate change but also with a general more catastrophic outlook on societal development – becomes extraordinarily prominent. The aim of the presentation is to develop an outline of a sociology of loss.

Please join us for an in-person event with Prof. Andreas Reckwitz, German sociologist and cultural theorist from Humboldt University Berlin. He is the author of the book, The Society of Singularities (Cambridge, 2020) and is currently a fellow of the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles. He wrote several articles for the German newspaper Die Zeit and appeared as an interview partner on the German national radio Deutschlandfunk Kultur discussing current sociocultural and political trends and issues in western societies.

In 2019 Reckwitz was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation.

This lecture will take place in English. It will be followed by a comment and a Q&A session.

This is an In-Person event only.