Opera and Political Philosophy
– A Philosophical Workshop with
Martha C. Nussbaum

Time: June 6–7, 2024

Venue: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Common Room, Fabianinkatu 24A, 3rd Floor


Thursday June 6

11:30– Coffee and Croissants

12:00–12:45 Martha C. Nussbaum (Chicago): Liberty or the Inquisition? Religious Authority and Human Fear in Verdi’s Don Carlos (1867)

12:45–13:00 Comment by Sami Pihlström (Helsinki)

13:00–13:30 General Q&A

Lunch in the Common Room

14:30–15:15 Filipe Pereira da Silva (Helsinki): From Opus to Opera: Narratives from Medieval Sources

15:15–16:00 Ritva Palmén (Helsinki): Plays of Imagination in the Middle Ages


16:30–17:15 Lilian O’Brien (HCAS): Understanding Others and Seeing Things for Oneself

17:15–18:00 Kai Alhanen (Aretai): Mozartean Laughter: The Politics of Comedy

18:00– Reception for all participants


Friday June 7

10:00–10:45 Sara Heinämaa (Jyväskylä): Opera and Politics: On Human Plurality

10:45–11:30 Mirja Hartimo (Helsinki): Kaija Saariaho and La Passion de Simone (Weil)

Coffee and Snack

12:00 – 12:45 Kalle Puolakka (CAS Sofia): Nixon (and Dewey) in China

12:45 – 13:30 Walter Rech (HCAS): Judith and the Tyrant: Representations of Divine Justice in Modern Philosophy and Opera


14:30–15:15 Charlie Kurth (HCAS): Affect and Politics

15:15–16:00 Guy Dammann (Uppsala): La Querelle des Bouffons: Operatic Aesthetics or Revolutionary Politics?