Wednesday, 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Buttrick Hall, Center for Digital Humanities
Media & Society: From Free Speech to Surveillance Capitalism
This seminar provides a rich set of concepts and perspectives to think about the role of media in modern society. It addresses different political and economic frameworks of media production and distribution; the meaning of free speech in the digital era; the changes of society through metrics; the relationship between individuals and crowds online; the tensions between privacy and publicness in a time of advanced data collection, marketing, and surveillance; the use of media in past and present political decision making; the history of emotions surrounding media; the politics of race, class, knowledge, and identity; and the increasing influence of artificial intelligence. This seminar also focuses on the recent rise of social networking and the ubiquity of our media encounters; the transformation of entertainment industries and academic institutions; and general questions of media accessibility in a globalized society. Students will familiarize themselves with most recent scholarship and discuss various perspectives of and approaches to media as much as they will learn how to map the impact of various older and newer media onto their respective political, economic, and cultural contexts.
Tuesdays, 4:10–6:30 p.m.
Furman Hall 123
The Imagined Archive: Representations of Collecting in German Literature
Collecting contrasts chaos with order, infinity with quantity, abundance with selection, and uncertainty with completeness. With help of collections we provide objects with new meanings and, ultimately, give meaning to life itself. Collections organize knowledge in archives, libraries and museums. In this seminar, we will focus on literary representations of collecting from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century with particular attention to the “book” as a collection in and of itself. We will discuss the psychology of collecting, the meaning of objects, the manifestation of collections, their organization (museums, encyclopedias, databases) and their aesthetic depictions in books and as books. Primary sources and research will receive equal attention.