Stanford – Leuphana Summer Academy 2019

Stanford-Leuphana

Introducing the inaugural Stanford – Leuphana Summer Academy:

Stanford–Leuphana Summer Academy 2019

»Against presentism. Historicizing mediality«

Thinking about technological changes or revolutions is often marked by a presentist, ahistorical mode of thinking and debate.  Consider the contemporary discussion about »digital culture« and its technologies.  The tropes mobilized are usually technicist and innovation- or even disruption-oriented, in both their affirmative and critical guises.  Little attention is given to historical precursors of technologically driven social change.  Even less attention is given to concepts and theories from other historical periods that might help investigate and understand our current predicament.

The Stanford-Leuphana Summer Academy seeks to change perspectives by focusing on concepts and theories that break with the myopia of presentism.  In seeking to formulate a new research area in terms of other periods (e.g. premodern or early modern) and fields (e.g. anthropology, religious studies, art history, etc.), this 5-day seminar seeks to historicize mediality in productive and innovative ways.  If »digital cultures« are not only modernity’s final product, but also brought an end to modernity, then it might be inspiring to think about digital cultures beyond or apart from modern concepts.  What terms are historically specific for an age or culture, and what concepts apply broadly to various phenomena from the premodern to the present age?  In what ways do preliterate, oral, or ritualistic cultures intersect with digital modes of information?  How can these other perspectives change our thinking about the present?

Key terms:»ritual«, »authorship«, »sovereignty«, »arcane«, »orality«, »participation«, »public sphere«, »social construction of time«, »art«, »literature«, »history«, »philosophy«, »history of science«, »historiography«

 

Date: June 24 – 28, 2019

Location: Stanford Berlin, »Haus Cramer«, Pacelliallee 18, 14195 Berlin

 

Faculty

  1. Timon Beyes (Sociology of Organisation and Culture, Leuphana)
  2. Shane Denson (Film and Media Studies, Stanford)
  3. Elena Esposito (Sociology, Modena/Reggio Emilia)
  4. Marisa Galvez (French, Italian, and German Studies, Stanford)
  5. Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht (Comparative Literature and German Studies, Stanford)
  6. Thomas Macho (Cultural History, IFK Vienna)
  7. Karla Oeler (Film and Media Studies, Stanford)
  8. Claus Pias (History and Epistemology of Media, Leuphana)
  9. Fred Turner (Communication, Stanford)
  10. Sigrid Weigel (Literature and Cultural Science, Berlin)

 

Application

All applications must be submitted electronically in PDF format.  Please submit your CV (1-2 pages) along with a 500-word abstract of your topic, and a short letter of intent explaining why you would like to attend this Summer Academy.

Please use the following naming convention for your application files:Lastname_CV.pdf, Lastname_Abstract.pdf, Lastname_Letter_of_Intent.pdf.

Please email your applications to Nelly Y. Pinkrah (nelly.pinkrah@leuphana.de).

The deadline for applications for the summer school is December 15, 2018.  All applicants will be informed about the selection of participants by end of January 2019.  The working language of the Summer Academy will be English.

The organizers will cover travel (economy) and accommodation costs for the time of the summer school.  No additional fees will be charged.

Contact

Claus Pias (pias@leuphana.de)

Please spread the word to graduate students who might benefit from an interdisciplinary effort to rethink mediality and its relation to history.

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Twenty-First Century Mediations of Subjectivity, ACLA 2018 #ACLA2018

acla-seminar

At this year’s conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, taking place March 29 – April 1, 2018 in Los Angeles, I will be participating in a great seminar/panel stream on “Twenty-First Century Mediations of Subjectivity,” organized by Jim Hodge of Northwestern University.

I’m looking forward to all of the talks, on such a rich set of topics. Here is the abstract for my talk:

Post-Cinema and the Phenomenology of External Time-Consciousness

Shane Denson

Something about the temporality of media has changed, and with it the relation of media to the temporality of subjective experience. In Technics and Time, Bernard Stiegler famously argued for just such a change, which he located in the advent of “tertiary memories” – externalized, reproducible experiences stored by industrial media objects. Using the term “cinema” to designate not only a specific apparatus but also the broad media regime or epoch instituted by recording technologies from photography and phonography to television and digital technologies, Stiegler identifies a threat to our subjective experience – exacerbated with the advent of live media in “the televisual epoch of cinema” – whereby media colonize consciousness by pre-formatting our immediate awareness (primary retention) with the images of tertiary retention. One thing Stiegler’s argument fails to account for, however, is the emergence of a protentional dimension that distinguishes computational media as decidedly “post-cinematic.” No longer simply memorial or mnemotechnical, post-cinema’s protentional images are generated on the fly according to compression algorithms rather than photochemical processes, thus disrupting the stability of tertiary memory while producing an external homologue to internal time-consciousness. This paper seeks to trace the impact of post-cinematic temporality on the production of subjective experience.

Review of Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, Screen 59:1 (2018)

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 5.48.10 PM

Lisa Åkervall has a review out in the latest issue of Screen, covering three works on post-cinema: 1) the open-access volume that I edited with Julia Leyda, Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film; 2) the special issue of Cinéma & Cie (16:26-27, 2016), titled ‘Post-what? Post-when? Thinking moving images beyond the post-medium/post-cinema condition,’ edited by Miriam de Rosa and Vinzenz Hediger (which also includes my article on “Speculation, Transition, and the Passing of Post-Cinema”); and 3) Malte Hagener, Vinzenz Hediger, and Alena Strohmeier’s edited collection The State of Post-Cinema: Tracing the Moving Image in the Age of Digital Dissemination

About the collection I co-edited with Julia Leyda, Åkervall writes:

“Shane Denson and Julia Leyda’s comprehensive volume Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, an open access online publication by Reframe Books, presents a multifaceted compendium. […] The editors’ framing in Post-Cinema is precise and penetrating, flexible enough to accommodate enduring themes in film and media studies while also making allowances for new questions associated with topics such as digital media aesthetics, media archaeology and environmental studies. Their volume rejects the idea that postcinema is merely a successor to cinema or a step in the teleological digitalization of all media, instead identifying it with competing perspectives on a changing media situation that bears on cinema as an institution, a practice and a medium. In this respect the volume admirably addresses our changing media landscape.”

Read the full review here.