Vienna Humanities Festival 2023

Sep 25 2023 to Oct 1 2023
Schillerplatz 3
Vienna 1010
Monday, September 25, 2023 to Sunday, October 1, 2023
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From 25 September to 1 October, the Institute for Human Sciences once again invites renowned thinkers to come together in Vienna and reflect on the fears, hopes, and big questions of our time. Admission is free.

Crises, war, and the imminent threat of climate catastrophe have become distinctive hallmarks of the present. In light of a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams, finding sustainable solutions for the societies of tomorrow becomes ever more pressing. To sharpen our view of the future, we thus look at promises from the past and present: which ones were kept, and which ones turned out to be fantasies? How to escape the war, how to battle climate change, and how to resist seduction? These are the guiding questions of this year's Vienna Humanities Festival, which brings together leading minds from science, art, literature, philosophy, politics, and journalism in Vienna in more than 20 events.

Three keynote lectures will kick off the festival weekend:

On 25 September at 19:00 CET, ethicist Janina Loh will open the festival week in the ballroom of Vienna City Hall with her lecture "Zwischen Perfektionierung und Überwindung. Kritische Reflektionen zu Mensch und KI"

Philosopher and writer Peter Trawny will speak about "Die Rückkehr der Weltanschauung" on 27 September at 19:00 CET in the Postsparkasse

On 30 September at 19:30 CET, "rock star philosopher" Michael Sandel will explore the possibilities of a just society on the stage of the Volkstheater in a lecture entitled "What's Become of the Common Good?"

On the closing panel on 1 October at 18:30 CET at the Academy of Fine Arts, the writer Kenan Malik, the philosopher and essayist Susan Neiman, the sociologist and author Gary Younge, and the journalist and author David Rieff, will discuss the promises and pitfalls of contemporary identity politics together with the vice president of the Open Society Foundations, Leonard Benardo.

We are pleased to welcome once again numerous high-profile guests from Europe and abroad as further speakers, including art historian Konstantin Akinsha, historian Richard Bourke, writer Giulia Caminito, artist and filmmaker Jasmina Cibic, extremism researcher Julia Ebner, historian Ute Frevert, writer Paolo Giordano, author and poet Georgi Gospodinov, journalist and author Isabel Hilton, historian Katja Hoyer, historian and publicist Gerd Koenen, writer Sergei Lebedev, computer scientist Martina Lindorfer, ethicist Janina Loh, author and podcaster Evgeny Morozov, sociologist Oliver Nachtwey, author and cultural critic Fintan O'Toole, historian and political scientist Mary Elise Sarotte, art historian Bénédicte Savoy, philosopher and writer Peter Trawny, author Juan Gabriel Vásquez, and political scientist Jan Zielonka.

For more information and the full program, visit

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