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The Long Revolution and the Future of Publics (Summer Institute)

06.03.2019 21:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

July 22-27, 2019, Zeppelin University

Friedrichshafen, Lake Constance, Germany

The forthcoming Summer Institute will discuss the opportunities and challenges to the idea of “publics” brought forth by new communication and media technologies. It builds on Raymond Williams’ idea of a “long revolution” of culture in the course of economic and political changes and expands it to the digitalization of “public spheres”, in which these interactions become visible. Using online resources, such as social network sites, citizens can participate in public discourse and make their voices heard on political issues, thus making the public sphere more diverse. Easily accessible media technologies, such as weblogs and podcasts, enable and empower their users to produce media content, which might subvert hegemonic ideas and challenge asymmetrical power relations. Nevertheless, changes in communication technologies also bear challenges to public spheres: For example, in the course of the fragmentation of the public sphere and the segmentation of its audiences, the practices and norms of public communication become particularistic as well. Online, especially through social network sites, non-democratic ideologies equally get the opportunity to reach a wider audience through malevolent hackers or automated bots. Questions of public control and media regulation arise, as hate speech and fake news become part of the digital vernacular language.

The Summer Institute will provide a sustained opportunity for critical reflection on the cultural, technological and political trajectories of digitalization that might enable or endanger publics and public spheres. Working at the intersection of Cultural Studies and Media and Communication Studies, we will analyze recent changes in interpersonal and mediated communication and their implications for future societies and media cultures.

The Institute will provide an intense and rewarding academic experience for postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers who will have the opportunity to spend the week attending a variety of seminars and lectures. Five keynote speakers and a faculty staff of leading Cultural Studies scholars from around the world will provide further comprehensive insights to the cultural and political consequences of the digitalization of the public sphere.

The key speakers represent the global perspective on the subject and include Tanja Thomas (University of Tübingen), Margie Borschke (Macquari University Sidney); Adam Haupt (University of Cape Town), Rolien Hoyng (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Eric Maigret (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Tanja Thomas (University of Tübingen).

The faculty members are representatives of European and German Cultural Studies and include Janneke Adema (Coventry University), Ursula Ganz-Blättler (University of St. Gallen), Udo Göttlich (Zeppelin University), Martin R. Herbers (Zeppelin University), Lothar Mikos (Filmuniversität Babelsberg), Giulia Pelillo-Hestermeyer (University of Heidelberg), Aljoša Pužar (University of Ljubljana), Gilbert B. Rodman (University of Minnesota), Helene Strauss (University of the Free State, Bloemfontein), Jeffrey Wimmer (University of Augsburg), Carsten Winter (Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media), Rainer Winter (University of Klagenfurt), Matthias Wieser (University of Klagenfurt), and Sebastian Rauter-Nestler (University of Klagenfurt).

The overall participatory and informal character of the Summer Institute will give voice to the participants by offering a forum which addresses issues related to their own work specifically on the topic of “the future of publics” as well as issues of general interest. In addition, social activities from receptions and meals to informal gatherings will provide opportunities for participants, lecturers and organizers to intermingle and stimulate further conversation. The Summer Institute takes place at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Constance and the German, Austrian and Swiss Alps, participants will further enjoy a varied social program.

Please find further information on participation, fees, accommodation and the travel process on our website:



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