Philosophy department and Temple Sinai lead discussion on political philosopher

Public invited to movie viewing of “Hannah Arendt”

3/31/2014 | By: Annie Conway  |

The University of Nevada, Reno's Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Temple Sinai have partnered to host a free showing of "Hannah Arendt," 3-6 p.m., Sunday, April 6, at the Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre.

The film provides a platform for discussion about Hannah Arendt, a philosopher and political theorist who reported for the New Yorker on the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961. Eichmann was chief of operations in the deportation of three million Jews to extermination camps from 1941 to 1945. The film was directed by renowned German filmmaker Margarethe Von Trotta.

"Hannah Arendt is a very important philosopher at the intersection of the Holocaust, nationalism, cosmopolitanism and political theory," Temple Sinai Rabbi Ethan Bair said.  "As a German-Jewish philosopher who moved to America to escape the Holocaust, she was a cutting-edge thinker whose insights and contributions to ideas of political identity seem to become more relevant as time goes on."

Deborah Achtenberg, associate philosophy professor at the University, took the opportunity to partner with Temple Sinai when she learned that their education committee had plans to show the film. 

"We are very pleased the philosophy department is able to partner with people in the community," Achtenberg said. "We hope the event will draw people who are interested in philosophy, political theory, critical theory and anyone who is interested in learning more about Arendt."

After the film, a panel of six will lead a discussion and answer questions about the film. The panel includes  Achtenberg, Bair, Nadya Bair, doctoral candidate in art history from the University of Southern California, Jennifer Ring, political science professor at the University and author of The Political Consequences of Thinking: Gender and Judaism in the Work of Hannah Arendt, Katharine Schweitzer, assistant professor in the department of philosophy, and Paul Baker Prindle, director of the Sheppard Contemporary and University Galleries.

"I hope our Nevada film premiere and panel discussion will bring about more interest in the nuances of Arendt's ideas," Bair said.

The event is funded by the Leonard Endowment in Philosophy. The University of Nevada, Reno's philosophy department incudes majors and minors in general philosophy and ethics law and politics. For more information about the philosophy department or the event, visit


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