Antonios Cotzias

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20142015 Forum on Color

Antonios Cotzias

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

College of Arts & Sciences, 2014

Ironically enough, I came to Penn all the way from Athens to study philosophy, politics, and economics. Graduating a semester early in December 2014, I am looking forward to applying to intersectional graduate programs in theory. During my junior year, my perspective shifted radically while participating in the Undergraduate Humanities Forum as a Mellon Fellow in the 2013–2014 Forum on Violence. This ignited my desire to think critically about the “techniques of the self” as they unfolded throughout the history of western thought. This year my project on Schelling’s essay On the Essence of Human Freedom for UHF addresses the relation of the tragic with the presentation of self in early antiquity. One of the most significant aspects of my Penn education has been being a member of the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), where I learned how to be a part of community struggles and how to work with movements organizing for concrete victories.

The Exile of Darkness

This phenomenological and experiential analysis of the work of darkness in Friedrich Shelling’s monumental text Philosophical Inquiries into the Essence of Human Freedom is read in conjunction with Ingeborg Bachmann’s poetic opus. Both thinker and poet have verged deep into existence as their world has gone through the traumas of alienation, silence, and horror. The relation between darkness and the voice, the devastating dimension of beauty and life itself, as well as singing’s mourning and relation to pain are examined. The calling of these two voices can shed light on the darkened truth of their night, and for them find the shade that allows for the “colors” that can guide us.