Sunday 1 January 2012

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. 7. Christiane Hegel. Alexandra Birkert & Salomé Hangartner conduct Inner Circle Seminar 177 (20 May 2012)

Irrenanstalt (madhouse), Zwiefalt, 1813

Locked Up:‘Patients’ and their Gaolers

7. Christiane Hegel
Sister of
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Alexandra Birkert
Salomé Hangartner
Inner Circle Seminar No. 177
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
20 May 2012
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Christiane Luise Hegel, born 7 April 1773 in Stuttgart, died 2 February 1832 in Bad Teinach, was the three-years-younger sister of the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831). She worked as a private teacher and governess. She wrote poems, now lost, some (according to Hegel’s first biographer, Rosenkranz) ‘truly beautiful’. She was incarcerated from May 1820 to August 1821 in the madhouse at Zwiefalt, Württemberg. She drowned herself three months after her philosopher brother died.

Alexandra Birkert (Stuttgart) is a historian and specialist in German literature. Her groundbreaking book, Hegel’s Sister: On the Track of an Unusual Woman Around 1800 (2008), is not yet translated into English.

Salomé Hangartner (Forch, near Zurich) is a German–English translator and interpreter who has specialised in the philosophical language of Heidegger and Daseinsanalysis.

In today’s seminar, Alexandra Birkert and Salomé Hangartner will report Dr Birkert’s research findings on Christiane Hegel’s life, family and social milieu, and help us to try to make intelligible the interactions that led to her being locked up in a madhouse.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £50, others £135, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit: 

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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