Fore and Levin to Engage in Discussion of New Book by Stefan Andriopoulos

Stefan Andriopoulos (Columbia) will present his new book Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media (MIT Press, 2013) on Tuesday, November 12 at 4:30pm in room N107 in the School of Architecture. The event, sponsored by the Program in Media & Modernity, will be moderated by Thomas Y. Levin and will feature a response by Devin Fore.

Drawing together literature, media, and philosophy, Ghostly Apparitions provides a new model for media archaeology. Stefan Andriopoulos examines the relationships between new media technologies and distinct cultural realms, tracing connections between Kant’s philosophy and the magic lantern’s phantasmagoria, the Gothic novel and print culture, and spiritualist research and the invention of television. As Kant was writing about the possibility of spiritual apparitions, the emerging medium of the phantasmagoria used hidden magic lanterns to terrify audiences with ghostly projections. Andriopoulos juxtaposes the philosophical arguments of German idealism with contemporaneous occultism and ghost shows. In close readings of Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, he traces the diverging ways in which these authors appropriate optical media effects and spiritualist notions.

Stefan Andriopoulos is chair of the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University. He is the author of, most recently, Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media (Zone Books, 2013). His previous book Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema (University of Chicago Press, 2008; German version: Fink 2000) won the SLSA Michelle Kendrick award for best academic book on literature, science, and the arts. Stefan Andriopoulos’ areas of teaching and research focus on German and European literature, media history, and interrelations of literature and science from 1750 to the present.