Archive | Events

Graduate Student Symposium

Princeton University
German Department
Graduate Student Symposium

Friday, March 31, 2017
Rocky-Mathey Theatre

1:00-1:30 Coffee and refreshments

1:30-2:15 Ron Sadan, “Writing as Practice: Toward Reading Robert Walser”

2:15—3:30 Diba Shokri, “How to know thyself (properly). Cases of self-observation in Moritz’ Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde

3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

4:00-4:45 Hannah Hunter-Parker, “Specimens, Scraps, and Cut-Ups: Johann Jakob Bodmer (1698-1783) and German Classics in Practice”

5:00—7:00 Reception / Dinner — Princeton Center for Language Study

Speech Unbound. Prose and the Problem of Form

Princeton University
Department of German
presents:

Susanne Lüdemann, Professor of German and Comparative Literature, LMU (Munich)
currently Carlotte M. Craig Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of German, Rutgers University

Time:
Monday April 10, 4:30 pm

Location:
205 East Pyne Building

In modernity, and also in the historical narratives of modernity, ‘prose’ has never been a neutral or a purely descriptive concept. On the one hand, the “prosaic state of the world” (Hegel) is part of a narrative of decline and disappointment (or disenchantment), linked to the “end of art“ and to the repression or loss of a “poetic“ state of mind in the instrumental rationality of modern state and society. On the other hand, the concept of ‘prose’ is part of a narrative of hope and freedom, linked to the idea of free or “unbound“ speech, and to polyphony (the plurality of ‘voices’ or ‘votes’) as an aesthetic as well as a political value. The semantics of “unbound speech“ (ungebundene Rede) is thus, across languages and from the beginning of modernity, bound to the question of the social bond, of what binds free speech and modern society, of both linguistic (grammatical, syntactical) and social or genealogical bonding, of the ‘weaving’ of modernity and its representations. Against this semantic background, Prof. Lüdemann’s talk will discuss prose as a problem of form in both literature and historiography. Special emphasis will be placed on Hannah Arendt’s reflections on “thinking without a banister” and on literary modes of writing history after the break with tradition.

Department of German: Open House

department of german
open house

Come meet faculty, current majors, and graduate students

Majors

German Literature
German Philosophy and Intellectual History
Media and Aesthetics
Germanic Linguistics
Comparative Study of Two Literatures
Joint Program in German Culture and Politics

Certificate in German Language
and Culture

Princeton in Munich
Summer Work Program
Berlin Study Abroad

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
207 East Pyne
4:30 pm

Refreshments will be served

Claus Pias: Media Philology

Princeton University
Department of German

Claus Pias
Professor for History and Epistemology of Media, Leuphana University, (Lueneburg)
Visiting Professor, Princeton University, German Department

Media Philology

Philology (and thus also media philology) is always a question of time. It is a question of the difference between the time of life and the time of reading, a question of the temporal specificity of the (material) objects of philology, and a question of remembering and forgetting of life’s contexts and of the need for commentary. This lecture will focus first on the media of philology (that is, on the things and practices in which philological operations are materialized) and then on the objects of philology, which due to their media-specific features, themselves incorporate a variety of temporal structures. How are digital objects now changing the temporal order of philology and its historical difference? And how are digital media reconfiguring the structures of work and time that define philological activity?

Date: Thursday, 3/9/2017
Time: 4:30pm
Location: 205 East Pyne

This Lecture is Free and Open to the Public

Philosophy’s Magic Lantern: Technologies of Nature in the Early Enlightenment

Princeton University
Department of German
presents

Johannes Wankhammer
Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Reed University College

Philosophy’s Magic Lantern:
Technologies of Nature in the Early Enlightenment

Thursday, March 2
205 E. Pyne – 4:30 pm

This event is free and open to the public.

Alternative Facts: Hölderlin’s Hyperion and the Origins of Neoliberalism

Princeton University
Department of German
presents

Anthony C. Adler
Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature
Underwood International College, Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea)

Alternative Facts:
Hölderlin’s Hyperion and the
Origins of Neoliberalism

Wednesday, February 8
205 E. Pyne – 4:30 pm

This event is free and open to the public.

The Fetters of Myth and How to Get Out of Them. Thoughts on Schelling’s Late Philosophy

Princeton University
Department of German
presents

Martin Buijs
Advanced Graduate Student, Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins
“The Fetters of Myth and
How to Get Out of Them.
Thoughts On Schelling’s Late Philosophy

Date: January 13, 2017
Location: 205 E. Pyne
Time: 4:30 pm

This Event is Free and Open to the Public
A Reception Will Follow

A Full Measure: Hölderlin and the Poetics of Madness

Princeton University
Department of German
presents

Alexis Briley
Visiting Assistant Professor, Colgate University
“A Full Measure: Hölderlin and
the Poetics of Madness”

Date: January 11, 2017
Location: 205 E. Pyne
Time: 4:30 pm

This Event is Free and Open to the Public
A Reception Will Follow

Obedient Agency: Concept and Narrative

Princeton University
Department of German
presents

Obedient Agency: Concept and Narrative
Professor Martin Wagner – University of Calgary
Date: December 9th, 2017
Loacation: 205 E. Pyne
Time: 4pm

Event Open to the public. Reception to follow.

Challenges of Media Anthropology- Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies 2017

Challenges of Media Anthropology
Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar—Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie
Princeton University—German Department

Weimar, June 11–17, 2017

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies—a collaboration between Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (German Department)—returns to Weimar in 2017 for its seventh installment. This year’s session will be concerned with the dynamics at work between the forms and practices of human being on the one hand and media operations and orderings on the other. Interested in far more than the mere study of media appropriation in different cultures or media usage by various disciplines, the summer school will focus on the co-agency and co-reflexivity of media and human existence, a commonality that renders impossible any division of the latter pair as separate entities.

The summer school will be directed by Lorenz Engell (Weimar) and Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton). The faculty will include Jane Bennett (Baltimore), Elisabeth Bronfen (Zürich), Beatriz Colomina (Princeton), Erin Manning/Brian Massumi (Montreal), Avital Ronell (New York), Christiane Voß (Weimar) and others.

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies invites applications internationally from outstanding doctoral candidates working in media studies and related fields such as film studies, literary studies, philosophy, art history, architecture, sociology, politics, the history of science and visual culture.

2017 Topic: Challenges of Media Anthropology

Media anthropology is generally understood, especially in the Anglo-American realm, as the investigation of different forms of media appropriations and media usages across cultures, sub-cultures, or societies, including of course the medial practices of anthropological research itself. However, as relevant as such topics are, they raise a host of much bigger and more complex issues that urgently demand careful theoretical interrogation.

Within the realm of media studies, the position of what used to be called “the human” is both delicate and highly disputed. On the one hand, some theorists challenge the validity of the very category of “the human” and thereby also the conceptual and empirical foundations of the above-mentioned approaches. According to the basic concepts of radical materialist media theory and media archeology—perhaps most paradigmatically in the work of Friedrich Kittler—the “so-called human being” is manifest, if at all, only as an epiphenomenal effect. In this view, time will ultimately expose the fundamental contingency of the construction of “the human,” as Michel Foucault insisted with his famous image of the footprint on the beach that is washed away by the next wave. For media theory, there is no such thing as human exceptionality—no “soul,” no “spirit,” no “ingenuity,” no “inventiveness,” no “intelligence” that could not be described either as the product of discursive, epistemic and laboratory practices, or as technically reproducible by means of implemented mathematics. Nevertheless, there are elements of media theory and philosophy, even in some of its most advanced forms, that remain haunted by the shadow of the—now forbidden—anthropological question. Indeed, somewhat surprisingly, this anti-anthropological move was preceded and paralleled by the rejection of explicitly anthropological positions in works of post-Nietzschean modern philosophy by authors as diverse as Theodor W. Adorno and Martin Heidegger.

On the other hand, certain key positions of early media theory, as exemplified in the work of Marshall McLuhan, are purely anthropological in character, as evidenced in the primordial mutual involution of the human and the technological, in McLuhan’s conception of media as extended perception, and, from a more global perspective, in his gestures towards the different functions of technical media in non-Western cultures and traditions. Anthropological concerns also emerge as a less explicit but underlying concern of 20th-century philosophy, as manifest in the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the philosopher of media Günter Anders. In philosophical terms, it has even been argued that non-anthropocentric thinking is simply impossible.

Recent developments such as global migration and ecological catastrophe demand that one rethink human existence as regards its forms, terms, operations, as well as its conditions and situatedness. This in turn makes imperative a reconsideration of the relation between the human and media. Yet the urgent contemporary discussion of “the Anthropocene” largely ignores the function of media and of technologies in general as co-agents in their own right. Important media-anthropoligical questions are also raised by the renewed debates on the relevance and reason of human and animal rights and the recurring concern in popular culture with the human in relation to machines, programs, robot technologies and other humanoid artifacts. In these contexts theoretical models of “symmetrical” (Bruno Latour) or “non-anthropic” anthropology (Robert Welsch) seem deeply appropriate, yet nevertheless fail to address the mediatic grounds on which any relational anthropology would have to take place.

Based on the premise that there is no human without media, the seventh annual Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies will focus on the diverse forms and operations of the coupling, the co-agency and the co-evolution of humans and media instead of their traditional distinction and separation. The conceptual challenges posed by such questions of human-media relatedness will be examined along four loosely defined sets of concerns:

1. Concepts and theories: How does the philosophical tradition conceive of the (non-)human and how is it conceptualized in media theory and related fields? Are there theoretical models that might contribute to an understanding of the reciprocally co-constitutive character of human existence and mediatic operations and orderings?

2. Knowledge production: How did and how does the shaping of the (non-)human work in experimental physiology, recent neurology, paleoanthropology, and other sciences? In their wake, how are specific technologies of observation and inscription involved in the production of what then is called “the human”?

3. Practices: In light of questions posed by “visual/sensory anthropology,” how are we to conceive of media in ethnography or, conversely, the ethnography of media? How do human-media interrelations generate sensorial activity and vice versa?

4. Aesthetics: How do media cooperate in the perception, representation, reproduction and experience of the (non-)human, and with what effects? How are the realms of aesthetics and aesthetic experience linked to the intertwined and mutually generating categories of the human and media?

For application instructions, please click here.

For more information, visit Challenges of Media Anthropology – Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies 2017.

For updates to the program and faculty of the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies please visit http://german.princeton.edu/ssms and http://www.ikkm-weimar.de/.

All application materials should be sent by email to
ikkm-conference@uni-weimar.de
and must be received by January 1st, 2017.

Coordinators:
Katharina Rein (Weimar), William Stewart (Princeton)
Please submit all inquiries to: ikkm-conference@uni-weimar.de