Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Sirens Go Silent: A Commemorative Colloquium for Friedrich Kittler 3/14-16

The Sirens Go Silent:

A Commemorative Colloquium for Friedrich Kittler

Organized by Avital Ronell, Arne Hocker, and Martin Rauchbauer

with the Goethe-Institut New York and the Onassis Cultural Center NY.

Deutsches Haus at NYU (42 Washington Mews, New York)

March 14th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

March 15th, 9:00am – 6:00pm
March 16th, 9:30am – 5:00pm

Wyoming Building, Goethe-Institut New York

March 16th, 8:00pm – 1:00am

A famous and iconic German thinker, Friedrich Kittler passed away in 2011 in Berlin. Some of the obituaries have stated that the German university has lost its last great figure. It is no exaggeration that Friedrich Kittler has singlehandedly revolutionized the humanities. When he declared “The Expulsion of Spirit from the Humanities” (“Die Austreibung des Geistes aus den Geisteswissenschaften”) in one of his early essays, he paved the way for technology and media to enter the study of literature, art, and philosophical thought. A trained philologist and literary scholar, he founded the discipline now known as “Media Theory” and he has contributed significantly to create scientific and humanistic inroads in a number of areas of critical theory and thought. Beyond his exemplary contribution to the thinking organized around technology, scientific inquiry, and medial innovation, Friedrich Kittler always also remained a prolific and subtle literary critic, who inspired students on both sides of the Atlantic with his teaching and his books, many of which have been translated into numerous languages and are taught and studied as essential texts of the Humanities.

With this commemorative colloquium, we will honor the work and person of Friedrich Kittler and will celebrate his intellectual legacy together with many outstanding scholars, performers, writers, technobodies–including disciples, students, colleagues, friends, companion spirits–of Friedrich Kittler.

Organized by Avital Ronell, Arne Hocker, and Martin Rauchbauer, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut New York and the Onassis Cultural Center NY, The Sirens Go Silent: A Commemorative Colloquium for Friedrich Kittler is made possible by the generous support of the NYU Department of German, the DAAD, the Dean for the Humanities, the NYU Department of Media, Culture & Communication, Deutsches Haus at NYU, the Humanities Initiative, and the Provost for the Arts and Humanities.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free of charge. Please let us know whether you would like to attend this event by sending an email to Space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event. Thank you!

More information:

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Program Thursday, March 14


6:30pm-8:30pm: Opening Night with Avital Ronell, Nimrod Reitman (Piano), Lindsay Zacheroff (Dance & Choreography), Tycho Horan (Electronics), and Friedrich Kittler (on Video).
Reception to follow.

Friday, March 15

9am – 9:30am: Welcome (Avital Ronell & Arne Höcker)

9:30am – 12:30pm Session 1:
Elisabeth Weber, Nightblack: Formatting Love
Rüdiger Campe, Kittler’s Humanities: On “Implementation” Bernhard Siegert, The Chorein of the Pirate: A Kittlerian View on the Origin of the Dutch Seascape

12:30pm – 1:45pm: Lunch Break

1:45 pm- 3:45 pm: Session 2
Laurence A. Rickels, The Rocket and the Ambivalent Introject

Chadwick Smith, Bones of Contention: The Challenges of Kittler’s Recursive Histories

3:45 pm – 4 pmCoffee Break

4 pm – 6 pm: David Wellbery, What is Left Out: On Some Ellipses in Kittler

Berit Jane Soli-Holt (with Avital Ronell), Material Engagement & Pedagogy: A Report from Kittler’s Last Seminar


Saturday, March 16

9:30am-12:30pm Session 3:
Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, What was Kittler’s Media Theory?

Hans-Christian von Herrmann, Media Culture: Bildung in the Age of Information (M. McLuhan – J.-F. Lyotard – F. Kittler)

Bernhard Dotzler, Idiotie, Vergessen, Gestrigkeit: Friedrich A. Kittlers Avantgardismus

12:30pm-2pm Lunch Break

2pm-5pm Session 4:
Antje Pfannkuchen, A Return to Kittler: Romanticism and Writing
Ben Kafka, The Meaning of the Meaningless
Thomas Pepper, Friedrich Kittler’s (Ver)stimmungen

8pm-1am Party with William Rauscher (DJ) at the Wyoming Building (5 E. 3rd Street, at Bowery) hosted by the Goethe-Institut New York


Draperites Hannah Jocelyn and Amanda Kaplan at (Re)Activating Objects Conference This Weekend

Hannah Jocelyn and Amanda Kaplan are each presenting at the (Re)Activating Objects conference at Western University in Ontario this weekend.

Hannah’s paper is entitled “The Passport and the Holder” and will be part of a panel called |Boundaries| & /Borders/

Amanda will particpate in the panel Sonorities/Noisemakers with her paper, “Jason Sidney Sanford’s Custom-Made Scrap Metal Guitars: The Demise of Iconic Guitar?”

Have a great conference, Draperites!

DSO Movie Night: ‘Manufactured Lanscapes’ this Thursday at 9

Hey everyone,
This Thursday (the 28th), the Draper Student Organization will be holding the first of this semester’s Movie Nights — A screening of Jennifer Baichwal’s 2006 film,
Manufactured Landscapes.
This thing will be in the Map Room at 9pm.
Snacks and drinks will be served!
84% Certified Fresh ~ Unrated ~ 1 hr. 23 min. ~ Documentarian Jennifer Baichwal’s latest film, Manufactured Landscapes, represents a multifaceted effort. The picture ostensibly provides a thought-provoking investigation of photographer Edward Burtynsky’s legacy, with its aesthetic studies of industrial landscapes. But Baichwal’s documentary probes deeper than a mere surface-level glimpse of Burtynsky’s life and work. It uses the topic of Burtynsky as a springboard, segueing, from there, into a protracted exploration of “the aesthetic, social and spiritual dimensions of industrialization and globalization.” Whereas Burtynsky’s photographs reveal human beings dwarfed by the massive industrialized landscape that surrounds them, Baichwal (much as Louis Malle did in his Humain, Trop Humain) sheds a light on the tedium and monotony suffered by workers who are assigned small components of huge manufacturing processes, and must endure the repetitive work that it entails. She and cinematographer Peter Mettler also travel to China and Bangladesh — the corner of the world that serves as a destination for much of the West’s industrial waste — and convey the devastating impact that corporate disposal makes on indigenes, such as the two young men who must wade around, waist deep, in toxic sludge while tearing ships apart with their bare hands. The picture thus raises some significant and sobering questions about the impact that we, as humans, make on our environment.
See you there,
The DSO (Scott, Valentine, Naomi, Amanda, Zineb)


This is the 4th talk in our special 2012-13 Comp Lit Speaker Series, New Directions in Comparative Literature. Each talk in the Series focuses on exciting new fields and new-idea scholars!


“Republic of Images (What is a political photography?)”

Monday, March 4


Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews (at University Place)

Jennifer Bajorek writes and does research on literature, philosophy, and photography. Her publications include Counterfeit Capital (Stanford, 2009); essays in Aperture, Critical Inquiry, Diacritics, and History of Photography; an edition and translation of the literary theory and political writings of Jean Paulhan (On Poetry and Politics, Illinois, 2010); and translations of texts by Jacques Derrida, Bernard Stiegler, and Sarah Kofman. The focus of her current research project is on photography in francophone west Africa, and she is finishing a book on photography and political imagination in Senegal and Benin. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU and a research associate of the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford.

Graduate Summer Courses Abroad – Media, Culture, and Communication


The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication is pleased to announce two courses in collaboration with the American University in Paris:

JUNE 3-21, 2013 | PARIS, FRANCE
Globalization, Memory, and Visual Culture
Faculty: Marita Sturken, NYU; Charles Talcott, AUP
This three-week course will provide an overview of contemporary theoretical engagements with cultural memory, visual culture, and consumerism, looking at the role played by discourses of memory in changing concepts of nation, colonialism, postcolonialism, and globalization. It will examine the ways French cultural memory is enacted in memorials, museums, artistic projects, design, and architecture. We will situate these projects in relation to the memory industry and global consumer economy, through which cultural memory is packaged, branded, and consumed. MORE >

Media and Cultural Globalization in France
Faculty: Rod Benson, NYU; John Downing, AUP
This course will provide students with a critical understanding of how international flows of information and entertainment products from news and information to movies, television and lifestyle brands play a role in shaping and reshaping global economic, political, military, and cultural realities. We will examine a range of forms of mediated production and consumption understood broadly in relation to political, economic, and cultural power, and situate these forms in relation to contemporary theorizing about global cultural convergence, divergence, and hybridity. MORE >