01 December 22
ZeM – Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies
ZeM SPRING LECTURE “We Are Born Obsolete. Günther Anders and the Post-literary Condition”
“When humans release their products into the world, they reap their haunting in return.” (Günther Anders, Spuk und Radio, 1930)
Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen 1 opens with a short polemic anecdote that relates how Anders was interrupted and heckled while delivering a talk about “our post-literary illiteracy” (“unser post-literarisches Analphabetentum”). While the anecdote signals that controversy and an unusual style of argumentation can be expected from his book, the word “post-literary” provides a clue about the readers Anders seems to have envisaged: Readers who habitually consume images and who like to immerse themselves in experiential spaces opened by technologies that stimulate our senses. In short: readers just like us. In this talk I will use this clue as an access point to Anders’s thought to ask what it means to translate it into the digital age and what perspectives this process of translation can open onto the post-analog attention economies that structure our lives.
Moderation: Dr. Bernd Bösel (Universität Potsdam/ SENSING)
Christopher John Müller is a senior lecturer in Cultural Studies & Media at Macquarie University, Sydney. His work focuses on the intersection of technology, social constellations of power and the deceptive “immediacy” of feeling. He is the author of Prometheanism: Technology, Digital Culture and Human Obsolescence (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), which includes an English translation of Günther Anders’ “On Promethean Shame”. His articles, translations and reviews have appeared in Parallax, Thesis Eleven, CounterText, TrippleC, Textual Praxis, Modernism/modernity, and The Journal of Continental Philosophy. Chris is part of the editorial team of The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism (2022) and co-edits The Genealogy of the Posthuman on criticalposthumanism.net. See the full profile of Chris Muller at Macquarie University.
Dr Christopher J. Müller is an initiator of the Working Group “Günther Anders and Media Studies” together with Dr Bernd Bösel and Dr Christian Dries (International Günther Anders Society, Vienna).