Force of Myth: Authority, Illusion, and Critique in Modern Imaginaries

June 7, 2021 - June 9, 2021
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

43 Jabotinsky Street

Keynote speakers:

The New School
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan


Cambridge University
University of California at Santa Barbara

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Force of Myth: Authority, Illusion, and Critique in Modern Imaginaries A virtual conference from June 7-5, 2021   Myth is one of the most fraught terms in the history of political thought. It has been hailed and vilified, instrumentalized and condemned. What amounts to post-truth, radicalization and conspiracy theory for some is the possibility of social critique and resistance for others. How should we define myth compared to other concepts like narrative, metaphor, symbol, or cipher? Does myth naturalize power and reinforce notions such as race, class, and identity, or does it criticize and transform what we take for granted? Put more broadly, what is the relation of myth to truth, illusion, and imagination in modern history?  

The online conference Force of Myth: Authority, Illusion, and Critique in Modern Imaginaries explores these questions and probes the role of myth in modern societies, connecting historical, political, and philosophical perspectives. 

Date: June 7-9, 5 hours/day, 3:00-8:00pm CET 

Keynote Speakers:
Chiara Bottici (New School of Social Research)
Bernard Harcourt (Columbia University) 
Pini Ifergan (Bar-Ilan University; The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)


For more information and the full program of the conference, visit: 

Organizers: Jacob Abolafia (Polonsky Academy, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute), Carmen Lea Dege (Polonsky Academy, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute), Tae-Yeoun Keum (University of California, Santa Barbara)

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June 9, 2021, 9:00am IST

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