Love in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt in Gurs and New York

Hannah Arendt’s name is most controversially associated with the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem and her concept of the banality of evil. This lecture examines another legacy from the Holocaust in Arendt’s thought: love. Love is a paradox in Arendt’s thinking. As a philosopher, she argued that love is at the very heart of the human condition. Yet, as a historian, she could also see that precisely because love is so powerful, it can also be dangerous, sometimes monstrous. What has love got to do with how we might think about Arendt today?


Lyndsey Stonebridge is the Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham, and the Holocaust Research Institute’s Schiff Visiting Professor for 2021. In addition to this lecture, she will be delivering seminars for the College’s graduate and undergraduate students.

Professor Stonebridge’s work focuses on 20th century and contemporary literature, political theory, and history, Human Rights, and Refugee Studies, drawing on the interdisciplinary connections between literature, history, politics, law, and social policy. Her early work was concerned with the effects of modern violence on the mind in the 20th and 21st centuries (The Destructive Element (1998), Reading Melanie Klein (1998) and The Writing of Anxiety (2007). Over the past ten years her research has focussed on the creative history of responses to that violence in two awarding-winning books, The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (2011), winner of the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, 2014, and Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (2018), winner of the Modernist Studies Association Best Book Prize 2018, and in her recent collection of essays, Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights (2020).

The work of the 20th-century political theorist, Hannah Arendt, is central to Professor Stonebridge’s understanding of modern history, violence, statelessness, and judgement. She is currently writing a critical-creative account of the relevance Arendt’s thinking for today, Thinking Like Hannah Arendt, which will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2022.

For more information, please contact us


Monday 25th January 2021
6:30 – 8:00pm


Free - Book here


Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of Birmingham)


The David Cesarani Holocaust Memorial Lecture 2021 at Royal Holloway, University of London