Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Memory of Ilan

(01.11.12) On January 5th, my dear friend and colleague, Ilan Gur Ze'ev passed away.  I did not know Ilan was ill, and news of his death came as a shock to me.  I met Ilan in 1997 in Vancouver, at the Philosophy of Education Society annual meeting.  We were riding the elevator down after hearing a mediocre paper on Jurgen Habermas.  After a moment of silence, I sighed and said, "I wonder what happened to the Frankfurt School Habermas?  Did you hear any critical theory in that paper?"  Ilan smiled, shook his head, and said, "That was not critical theory.  No, no, no. But, shall we have a coffee and discuss critical theory?"   And so began a friendship that was formed over a mutual desire to think critically, to challenge ourselves and others to take up difficult ideas, to write honestly, to be tireless in our engagement with truth, justice, beauty.   Ilan was an inspiration, because he was so brilliant, and, yet, humble and supportive of others.  He brought many of us together over the years, organizing meetings in Oxford, Oslo, Madrid, Miami, and wherever our professional organizations would gather.   The fruits of those gatherings were published in several volumes that Ilan edited.   Here's a link to the first of those volumes:

I saw him for the last time last year, in Manhattan, where we shared a long dinner at the Monkey Bar, one of the coolest old places in NYC (  I'm so glad to have that memory of sharing that evening with Ilan.

I will miss Ilan, but will never forget him.  And to this end, I will remember him by posting and responding to his work throughout the year.   I begin by sharing a link to Dr. Arie Kizel's blog, where Ilan's last lecture is posted.

1 comment:

KellyD said...

I am happy for you that you started this blog. And, I think this is a great first entry - a positive memory of a good friend/colleague who recently passed away.

Reading this makes me want to join you in blogging.