Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Lives of Action, Thinking and Revolt : A Postapartheid Feminist Reflection.

Karin van Marle.

Action, thinking and revolt - or maybe the absence thereof within apartheid and postapartheid South African law, politics and critique - are the main focuses of my paper. Two theorists responsible for much reflection on these issues, Hannah Arendt and Julia Kristeva, will be employed.

I shall recall the significance of action as an essential part of the human condition as developed by Hannah Arendt. However, thinking, or the life of the mind played as big a part as action in Arendt's life and theory. The tension between a life of action and the life of the mind provides multiple ways and angles from which to contemplate politics, theory and critique. As one of many commentators Julia Kristeva recently also devoted attention to Arendt's contributions. I shall concentrate on Kristeva's account of Arendt, firstly for her valuable insights on Arendt, but secondly also for what her contemplation on Arendt reveals about her own position. I am particularly interested in connections between Arendt's 'natality' and Kristeva's 'revolt'


Karin van Marle  (South Africa)
Professor in Jurisprudence
Department of Legal History, Comparative Law and Jurisprudence
University of Pretoria

Karin van Marle teaches jurisprudence in the Department of legal History, University of Pretoria

  • Action
  • Thinking
  • Revolt
  • Feminist
Person as Subject
  • Hannah Arendt. Julia Kristeva.

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)