Second Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies

Spaces of Media: The Second Annual Princeton-Weimar
Summer School for Media Studies
Princeton University
June 17-23, 2012

Following the successful inauguration of the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies at the International Center for Research into Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM)of the Bauhaus-University, Weimar in June 2011, the second annual Summer School in Media Studies will take place on the campus of Princeton University in June 2012 with a focus on the complex intersections of media and space.

Media Studies starts with Harold A. Innis’s exploration of the role of media in shaping the cultural and political spaces of societies. Yet the question of how to understand the ways in which spaces, localities, and modes of navigation in such domains are all generated by media remains an urgent challenge for media studies to this day. How much do we know, for example, about the history of navigation and its technologies and techniques, from maps, sextants and compasses to the latest GPS devices? How might questions of textual navigation raised by newer media be located within a broader account of navigating by and within files, books, and writing? Do we fully understand the ways in which the spatiality of the diagram contributes to the operations of the signifier, whether in the production of meaning or in the production of economic values, or of administrative control? Do we have an adequate grasp of the way in which media of distribution and circulation effect the constitution and control of geographic spaces? And what is the status today of those so-often invoked media utopias according to which space was effectively rendered insignificant by blazing data-transmission rates and minimal transaction costs? Does it even make sense to speak of the “spaces” of new media and, if so, how? These are just some of the issues that will be explored in the second Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies this coming June.

Reflecting the partnership between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (IKKM) and Princeton University’s Department of German, the summer school will again be an institutional collaboration in every respect. This year’s program will be directed by Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) and Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton) and the faculty, which will be drawn from Princeton and a number of other internationally renowned institutions, will include Jimena Canales (Harvard), Christoph Engemann (Weimar), Devin Fore (Princeton), Laura Frahm (Weimar), Mladen Gladic (Princeton), Ben Kafka (New York), Joel Lande (Princeton), Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton), Emily Thompson (Princeton), and Anna Tuschling (Bochum).

The first Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies took place in Weimar in June 2011. For six days, young scholars from seven countries (USA, Brazil, Israel, Canada, Iran, the Netherlands, and Germany) met at the Bauhaus University under the supervision of Princeton University’s Thomas Y. Levin and the Co-Director of the IKKM Lorenz Engell to engage in a sustained interrogation of state-of-the-art debates in both the practices and theories of surveillance. Together with a faculty that included Joseph Vogl (Humboldt/Princeton), Sam Weber (Northwestern), and Volker Pantenburg (Weimar), the thirteen students (selected from a very competitive international pool of over one hundred applicants) engaged in a series of spirited and high-level discussions, screenings and excursions. The numerous intellectual friendships forged through this intense critical immersion have had an extended afterlife, manifest for example in the “Post-Hermeneutical Reading Group” convened and run by three Summer School graduates from Princeton, NYU and Columbia.

Once again this June, the second annual Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies will provide a forum for a sustained and intensive engagement with the state of the art of contemporary German media theory and its North American critical theoretical reception. For further information go to: