University for everyone Collegium generale

Lecture series

Thinking the End

Humans are the only species that can think about the end – the end of a relationship, the end of their own lives, the end of humanity, the end of the world. There are times when the end is long awaited, as in the end of a pandemic. Oftentimes, though, thinking about the end is accompanied by difficult emotions such as mourning. In each case, the imagined anticipation of the end allows us to take advantage of the remaining time to design the end, perhaps even to reconceptualize the end as a new beginning. 

The Collegium generale lecture series is posing the question of how we think the end in a variety of fields. Of particular concern are those areas that matter the most to us: How is the end of life configured? How does a historical epoch come to a close, how does a biological species end? How does literature imagine the end of human civilization? And, finally, what does our thinking about the end, in small and large ways, tells us about ourselves and our times?

For the detailed program, please see the German website.


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