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Discussion "Johann Gottfried Herder: From the World Back to Riga", NLL, 8.3.2024

On 8 February 2024 at 18.00, the discussion "Johann Gottfried Herder: From the World Back to Riga" will be held at Level 11 of the National Library of Latvia (NLL).

The discussion  with the participation of Eva Piirimäe, Professor of the University of Tartu, Kaspar Renner, research assistant of the University of Potsdam, and Raivis Bičevskis, Professor at the University of Latvia – is dedicated to the legacy of Johann Gottfried Herder’s (1744–1803) ideas.

The entrance is free of charge, please REGISTER by 5 February.

In recent years, ideas of the 18th century German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder about culture, nation and language have gained new relevance in the European academic space. The texts of the Age of Enlightenment still help to think more clearly about today’s problems as it is shown by two important studies that were conducted last year. In 2023, Cambridge University Press published the monograph "Herder and Enlightenment Politics" by Eva Piirimäe, Professor of Tartu University, while Kaspar Renner defended his doctoral thesis "Herder in Riga: Constellation of Early Philosophical, Homiletic, Pedagogical and Aesthetic Writings" at the Humboldt University of Berlin. In both papers, attention is paid to the time Herder spent in Riga – a number of important insights matured and developed there, which were later reflected in his philosophical works.

Herder’s connection with Riga, and the place of Latvia on the European intellectual map of the Age of Enlightenment – it is a topic that increasingly attracts the attention of researchers both in Latvia and elsewhere in Europe. Therefore, the team of the project "Book and Society in Latvia: European Dimension and Cultural Transformations" implemented by the NLL has invited Eva Piirimäe and Kaspar Renner to a discussion about Herder, enlightenment and questions that the twenty-first century can ask the eighteenth century. The discussion will be led by Raivis Bičevskis, Professor of the University of Latvia, scientific editor of the collective monograph "Unity and Difference: Johann Gottfried Herder’s Philosophy" (2017).

The event will be held in German with simultaneous translation into Latvian, after which participants are invited to informal discussions over a glass of wine. The music of Johann Gottfried Müthel who was the last student of Johann Sebastian Bach and Herder’s associate and companion in Riga will be performed by Vladimirs Tarasovs.

This event introduces a series of events dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, organized by the National Library of Latvia in cooperation with the University of Latvia. The culmination of the cycle will be an international scientific conference in September 2024, and throughout the year researchers of Kant and the Age of Enlightenment will invite to discussions and events in which the history of intellectual thought of the 18th century will be illuminated from various aspects.

The discussion is one of the events within the series of events "500 Years of Latvian Books" which is funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and organized within the fundamental and applied research project "Book and Society in Latvia: European Dimension and Cultural Transformations" (LZP-2023/1-0263) with the support of the University of Tartu (Estonian Research Council project PUT PRG942), the Baltic-German University Liaison Office and the Goethe Institut in Riga.


More information:
Pauls Daija
National Library of Latvia
E-mail: pauls.daijalnblv
Phone: +371 26735250

Impressionen von der ,Herder in Riga'-Veranstaltung auf dem Facebook-Kanal der LNB

Auf die Vorträge von Eva Piirimäe (Universität Tartu) und Kaspar Renner (Universität Potsdam) folgte ein von Raivis Bicevskis (Universität Riga) moderiertes Gespräch über Herder in Riga.