The Warburg Institute hosted its third Postgraduate Symposium on 15 November 2018. With this conference, we aim to identify and interrogate the ‘seismic waves’ generated by scholars active at the Warburg Institute from its inception to the present, who inherited the founder’s lessons by receiving his waves and producing their own.

Speaking in Hamburg in 1927, Aby Warburg described how an Apollonian cultural historian and a Dionysian philosopher as different as Burckhardt and Nietzsche shared an impulse to detect, elaborate, transform, and eventually transmit ideas from artists and thinkers across time and space, acting as intellectual seismographs:

“We must recognise Burckhardt and Nietzsche as receivers of mnemonic waves [. . .] Both are very sensitive seismographs, which shake in their foundations when they receive and have to retransmit the waves.”

Listen to the two keynotes