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National Humanities Center symposium: The Virtual 19th Century

The National Humanities Center is pleased to present a symposium on

The Virtual Nineteenth Century

March 4 - 5, 2011

National Humanities Center
7 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

The term "virtuality" has taken on new importance in recent decades, as theorists of new media attempt to explain the changes in social interactions and in mental states that our current highly "wired" world has made possible. The recent communications revolution seems so complete a break with the past that researchers have begun to speak of a new generation gap, speculating that a child born today has little in common with one born even at the end of the last millennium. But how revolutionary is this new revolution? To what extent do its very premises harken back to an earlier set of assumptions about the nature of modernity? This symposium proposes to explore the ways in which new thinking about communications, art, and technology developed in the nineteenth century helped put in place a concept of the "virtual" that forecasts many of our contemporary concerns. 

Participating scholars:

  • Katherine Biers, Columbia University
  • Margaret Cohen, Stanford University
  • Nicholas Frankel, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Lisa Gitelman, New York University
  • Catriona MacLeod, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sharon Marcus, Columbia University
  • Michael McKeon, Rutgers University
  • John Plotz, Brandeis University
  • Leah Price, Harvard University
  • Maurice Samuels, Yale University
  • Pamela Thurschwell, University of Sussex
  • Carolyn Williams, Rutgers University

$35 registration fee includes all sessions and meals. 
Graduate students with a valid ID may register for free by contacting Martha Johnson at 919-549-0661 x110



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