Fellow in Research Area 3: “Future Perfect”
June – September 2022
Modernity Across Temporal Scales: The Global, the Planetary and the Cosmic in Romanticism and Beyond
This project argues that “modernity,” emerging as epoch and universal normative programme in Enlightenment and Romantic thought, was a cross-scalar category, and the notion of universality that it implied served to mediate between the three temporal scales that were constitutive for the formation of the modern age: the global, the planetary and the cosmic in the post-Copernican sense. To explore this, the project turns to Early Romantic authors (especially Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel, F.W.J. Schelling) and their programme of universal poiesis, so as to discern within that programme the above three dimensions and to theorise their exact role in the Romantic thinking of modernity, universality and the past and future of global humanity.
Additionally, the project seeks to identify the ways in which the Romantic construction of the temporality of the global vis-à-vis the planetary and the cosmic refracts earlier modern thought in its reaction to the Galilean-Copernican revolution, and how it resonates beyond Romanticism into our present moment of planetary crisis. The project revisits classic accounts of the post-Copernican dimension of modernity from Hans Blumenberg, Hannah Arendt, Günther Anders and others, so as to re-conceptualise them through the lens of the co-imbrication between the global, the planetary and the cosmic, and to re-examine the ways in which these scales were variously thought of together or played off against each other in Romanticism and beyond.
Kirill Chepurin is a comparative Romanticism and Nineteenth Century scholar with expertise in continental philosophy and critical theory. He holds a doctoral degree (Candidate of Sciences; PhD equivalent) from HSE University, Moscow and has recently defended a second dissertation at HU Berlin. His research explores the modern afterlives of the concept of beatitude or bliss and the idea of global “modernity” in its utopian, technological, and cosmic dimensions as well as its exclusions and violences. He is the editor (with Alex Dubilet) of Nothing Absolute: German Idealism and the Question of Political Theology (Fordham University Press, 2021).