November 9th, or Does Europe Have a Birthday?


Location: Ballantine Hall 004 (Indiana University Bloomington)

The Department of Germanic Studies and the Institute of German Studies at Indiana University (Bloomington) invite you to attend:

November 9th, or Does Europe Have a Birthday?

Roundtable on the Idea of Europe on the
Twentieth Anniversary of the Opening of the Berlin Wall

Participants: Padraic Kenney (History), Bill Rasch (Germanic), Ben Robinson (Germanic), and Sandy Shapshay (Philosophy), and Michel Chaouli (Germanic)

This roundtable will start from three short (and highly contested) philosophical texts: an excerpt from Edmund Husserl’s The Crisis of European Sciences (which roots an ideal of humanity in the European philosophical tradition); Habermas and Derrida’s cosigned appeal for a Kantian globalism rooted in Europe’s core countries; and Peter Sloterdijk’s call for Europe to resume leadership of modernity’s mission. With these texts suggesting an idea of Europe in its broadest outlines, the roundtable will take the occasion of the symbolic date of November 9th to reflect on Europe’s genesis, future and potential meaning. If Europe is an idea, is it one that we are bound to cherish? Or one that we might fear? Or is Europe simply one particular area out of many that commands at most the respect that is paid to any province of humanity? The floor will be open after the presentations for discussion and debate.

The texts (16 pages total) are available for downloading at

For further information please contact: Benjamin Robinson ( or Michel Chaouli (