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History and Theory

Media Materialities

History and Theory
31 Jan, 2013

Media Materialities

How do we write the history of a new medium and what constitutes its materiality: the technological apparatus, the epistemic conditions of its gradual emergence and evolution, or its appropriation and use in specific cultural practices? Various approaches within the field of media history have adopted an exclusive focus on one of these realms. This talk, by contrast, sets out to develop a new model of media archaeology that examines the mutual constitution of these different materialities.

Stefan Andriopoulos is chair of the Department of Germanic Languages at Columbia University. He is the author of Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema (University of Chicago Press, 2008), which won the 2009 SLSA Michelle Kendrick award for best academic book on literature, science, and the arts. His new book Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media is forthcoming with Zone Books in fall 2013. He has co-edited a special issue of Grey Room "On Brainwashing: Mind Control, Media, and Warfare," and his articles have appeared in such journals as Critical Inquiry, Representations, and English Literary History. Stefan Andriopoulos has held visiting professorships at Harvard University, in the Department of the History of Science, and at Cologne University, in the Research Institute "Media, Culture, Communication." He serves as co-chair of the executive committee for an emerging Ph.D. program in Film and Comparative Media at Columbia University.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of German.

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