Privilege and Its Discontents: Arendt, Assimilated Jews, and the Academy

Joydeep Bagchee at Online

Sat, Apr 10 at 2 p.m.   |   1 hour
Olios: Drop-in classes led by professors

Many Americans are involved in a conversation on privilege, exclusion, and race. Against this backdrop, we will ask in this Olio: how is privilege constructed and maintained by looking at the example of the original "pariah people," European Jews? Join us as we gather for a close reading of select passages from Arendt's "Privileged Jews" and discuss how the text is more relevant than ever in our modern landscape.


Many Americans are involved in a conversation on privilege, exclusion, and race. Against this backdrop, this Olio will analyze how privilege is constructed and maintained by looking at the example of the original "pariah people," European Jews. We shall undertake a close reading of Hannah Arendt's seminal paper "Privileged Jews" to understand how every privilege system provokes a twofold response. On the one hand, it creates the parvenus, who seek to join the privilege system at the price of self-denial and alienation from their community; on the other, it gives rise to the "conscious pariahs," i.e., those who understand the rules of the system, reject the very concept of privilege, and choose to live as outsiders—whether artists, poets, or critics. 

Join us as we gather for a close reading of select passages from Arendt's "Privileged Jews" and discuss how the text is more relevant than ever in our modern landscape. 

Teacher: Joydeep Bagchee

Dr. Joydeep Bagchee is a core doctoral faculty member at the Hindu University of America and a visiting lecturer based in Berlin, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from New School for Social Research, New York. His areas of expertise are twentieth-century Continental philosophy, German Romanticism, Nietzsche, philology, and the Western reception of Indian thought.


Venue: Online

Zoom link will be sent upon signup.


Add to Calendar April 10, 20212 p.m. April 10, 2021 America/New_York Think Olio | Privilege and Its Discontents: Arendt, Assimilated Jews, and the Academy Many Americans are involved in a conversation on privilege, exclusion, and race. Against this backdrop, we will ask in this Olio: how is privilege constructed and maintained by looking at the example of the original "pariah people," European Jews? Join us as we gather for a close reading of select passages from Arendt's "Privileged Jews" and discuss how the text is more relevant than ever in our modern landscape. Online

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


Other Upcoming Olios


Myth: A Day-Long Olio

Location: at Clinton Hill Mansion

Teacher: OlioFest

Aug. 8, 2021, 2 p.m.


Stay in Touch


Instagram Mailing List Contact

Get Involved


Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.