John Durham Peters is A. Craig Baird Professor of Communication Studies, and Professor of International Studies, at the University of Iowa. He is the author of two books, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). He is the author of over fifty journal articles and book chapters on the philosophy of communication, intellectual history of communication research, democratic theory, and cultural history of media. He has also published in fields as sociology, anthropology, music, film studies, cultural studies, religious studies, history, theater, and philosophy. His writing has been translated into many languages including Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, and Ukrainian, and he has been a visiting professor in England, Greece, and the Netherlands, and has lectured in many countries.
Title: Communication Infrastructures Old and New
Abstract: “The new iconic infrastructure of our age is the internet,” said Hillary Clinton. While the internet rests on real hardware, its borders with softer stuff are unclear. Digital infrastructures blur the cultural and the material, but they also mix the new and the old. At the heart of new media are ancient infrastructures and practices such as the management of fire and weather, record-keeping, towers, calendars, and notions of the divine. This lecture examines the convergence of new and ancient media and aims to consider the meaning of new communication infrastructures for the human estate in our times.
Christina Kaindl is a psychologist and political scientist trained at Free University Berlin. She is Editor in Charge of the journal 'Luxemburg.
Gesellschaftsanalyse und linke Praxis' which is published by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Berlin. She teaches as well i at the University Magdeburg/Stendal, mostly sociology of emotions. With Alex Demirovic and Alfred Krovoza she has edited (and published in) "Das Subjekt - zwischen Krise und Emanzipation" (=Subjectivity between Crisis and Emancipation) discussing different theories on subjectivities and their capacity to analyze the neoliberal changes and current crisis of the subject. She has published as well on Casting-Shows and how they correspond with neoliberal concepts. Her PhD is dealing with right-wing-extremism within and against neo-liberal globalisation.
Older works include „Abstrakt negiert ist halb kapiert“ Beiträge zur marxistischen Subjetwissenschaft. Morus Markard zum 60. Geburtstag (= Contributions to Marxist Subject-Science; co-editor and author, 2008); Subjekte im Neoliberalismus (Neoliberal Subjectivity, editor and author, 2007).
Abstract: NordMedia Conference
Doing better. Struggles around new Subjectivity in Media
The talk will focus at the relation of changes in the mode of production, in patterns of life, and the media, especially in TV-Shows. Walter Benjamin analyzed the interest people took in the emerging film as a wish to see their own lives represented, a ‘claim to be filmed’ (GSI.2, 455f, 493). Parallel to the film the mode of production was changing towards Fordism, creating new demands for the individuals. But the demanded changes in live patterns were rarely the subject of those films. Instead of representing everyday life the questions of how to live, of “doing the right thing” were modeled as a shared horizon of dreams and life patterns by the stars.
Neo-liberal politics and the crisis have uprooted the sense of what to be rightfully entitled to in return for hard work. What "doing the right thing" means is up for discussion and struggle, and is widely present on TV. Make-over- and casting-shows, Big Brother, and other reality shows answer to shrinking means of social integration and the demands of new work ethics and standards. They take up ideas and concepts of managerial literature and try to implement them in the habitus of the individuals. The real contradictions of neo-liberal subjectivity are rarely part of the imaginary. This in turns opens the stage for right-wing concepts, which allegedly defend the working class against demands from “abroad” and claim to reinstall the rightful equilibrium of hard work and (national) social justice.