GERMAN 732 - Cultural and Historical Analysis
Section: 001 Literature and Media Theory
Term: WN 2018
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This graduate seminar examines contemporary discussions surrounding the theory and history of media, with particular attention paid to the histories of writing and reading and the relevance of media theory for literary studies. Juxtaposing literary and non-literary sources, we will explore the extent to which media theory and an emphasis on the ‘materialities of communication’ provide us with new theoretical perspectives and tools for approaching the history of literature.

On the one hand, we will consider how literary works both thematize and are shaped by changes in print culture, new reading practices, as well as the introduction of technical media and competing modes of recording, storing, and transmitting information. On the other hand, we will draw on the resources of literary studies and textual analysis in approaching the history of media and the effects of new systems of inscription within non-literary domains, such as the experimental sciences.

Readings include literary texts by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Pynchon as well as scholarly and theoretical works by Friedrich Kittler, Bernhard Siegert, Vilém Flusser, Lisa Gitelman, Franco Moretti, and Cornelia Vismann.

Topics include the transition from oral to written culture, the so-called ‘reading revolution’ around 1800, media as scientific instruments, publication and its subjectivities, paperwork and bureaucracy, cybernetics, and the digital humanities.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:


GERMAN 732 - Cultural and Historical Analysis
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
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