What is studying in its difference from institutions? Benjamin took up the problem of studying with all the energy of his student dissatisfaction. In one of his early texts he investigates the “life of students” under the aspect of a historical concept in which history appears to be concentrated in a single focal point, like those traditionally found in the utopian images of the philosophers. He goes on to speak of elements of an ultimate condition that are deeply embedded in every present day. I would like to take these propositions as hints to the Benjaminian concept of study, and I want to show how Benjamin’s program to grasp student life metaphysically involves a fundamental connection between the practice of study and a discontinuous concept of time.
Antonia Birnbaum; Beyond Autonomy:Walter Benjamin on the Life of Students. boundary 2 1 May 2018; 45 (2): 157–169. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-4381076
Download citation file: