Pre-Conference Beyond Germany: German Media Theory in a Global Context

Beyond Germany: German Media Theory in a Global Context © Wolfgang Sützl

Thu, 05/23/2019

Goethe-Institut Washington

1990 K St. NW (Entrance on 20th St., lower level)
Washington, DC 20006

The School of Media Arts and Studies of Ohio University and the Goethe-Institut Washington invite you to a pre-conference on German Media Theory in a Global Context. A pre-conference proposal for the 2019 International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference, "Beyond Germany" explores how German media theory has come to signify a specific way of understanding and theorizing the media that draws on a rich heritage of continental literary studies and philosophy.
Over the past decade, German media studies – Medienwissenschaft – has experienced a rapid growth. Currently, more than fifty media studies programs are being offered at German universities. This growth has been accompanied by reflective enquiries regarding specific methodological and philosophical identity, including the quesiton, "what’s German about German media theory?" asked by philosopher Claus Pias in his 2015 essay.
How is German media theory being read, adopted, and translated by scholars in other parts of the world? How is this transnational context influencing whatever "Germanness" remains in German media theory? What is the significance of such theorizing in the context of transnational theory debates? What is the contribution of a German way of media studies in a critical understanding of emerging media and of current issues in social media, artificial intelligence, etc.? What kind of contributions to media ethics and policy making are emerging from such a transcultural and transnational view on German media theory? 
We invite all scholars with an interest in these and related questions to attend this one-day pre-conference, held at the Goethe Institute, Washington, DC.
Conference organizers: Andreas Ströhl, Goethe-Institut; Wolfgang Sützl, School of Media Arts & Studies, Ohio U; Bernhard Debatin, Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio U
RSVP Program Schedule

10.00 – 10:45

Andreas Ströhl, Goethe Institut: Media Theory at Goethe
Bernhard Debatin, Ohio University: Critical Theory in Germany
Wolfgang Suetzl, Ohio University: German Media Theory Beyond Germany

10.45 – 12:00
PANEL “KITTLER” (Chair: Andreas Ströhl)

Ido Ramati (Bauhaus Universität Weimar/Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Kittler in Hebrew: German Media Theory and Hebrew Inscribing Machines (15 min.)

Hui-Lan Chang (National Chengchi University, Taiwan): Post-Friedrich Kittler's Medium
Approach: Proposing a Theoretical Framework for Digital Materialism
(15 min.)

Jason Crane (Ohio University): Reclaiming the Magic of Media: Kittler’s Gramophone and the Revival of the LP (15 min.)

DISCUSSION (30 min.)

12:00 – 1:30 pm LUNCH BREAK (on your own)

1:30 – 2:15 pm
PANEL “TEACHING MEDIA THEORY” (Moderation: Wolfgang Suetzl)

Mirjam Gollmitzer (Université de Montreal): Shock, Adaptation, Reconciliation: Learning Mass Communication Theory in Germany, Teaching German Media Theory in Canada
(15 min.)

Katerina Kritlova (Zurich University of the Arts): Media Theory, Media Philosophy, and the Politics of Theory Fiction (15 min.)

DISCUSSION (30 min.)

15 min. break

2:30 - 3:45 pm

Briankle G. Chang (University of Massachusetts): Spectral Media (15 min.)

Christina Vagt (University of California, Santa Barbara): Design as Aesthetic Education
(15 min.)

Gang Luo (Ohio University): The Mediated Laksana of Happiness: From Frankfurt School’s Aesthetic Theory to the Teaching of the Diamond Sutra
(15 min.)

DISCUSSION (30 min.)

3:45 – 4:15 pm COFFEE BREAK

4:15 – 5:30 pm

Christine Heibach (Universität Regensburg): Atmosphere: On the ‘Germanness’ of a Media-theoretical Term (15 min.)

Anke Finger (University of Connecticut): Facing the Abyss: Towards an Intercultural Media Theory (15 min.)

Kurt Fendt (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Archives in Motion – Rethinking Digital Archives and Memory (15 min.)

DISCUSSION (30 min.)

5:30 – 6:00 pm