Call for Applications: Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies, Princeton, June 17–23, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012 - 8:00am to Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 12:00pm

Spaces of Media
Second Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies, Princeton, June 17–23, 2012

Exploring the “Spaces of Media,” the second international Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies — a co-operation between the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, IKKM) and Princeton University (Department of German) — will be held in the United States for the first time.

The one-week program will take place on the campus of Princeton University from June 17–23, 2012 and will be directed by Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) and Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton).

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies is open to advanced students and doctoral candidates of media studies and related fields (e.g. film studies, the philologies, philosophy, art history, sociology, politics, the history of science, visual culture, architecture, etc.).

Coordinators: Christoph Engemann l Laura Frahm (Weimar) l Mladen Gladic (Princeton)

Please submit all inquires to

About the Summer School

The Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies provides advanced training in the study of media and cultural techniques. Focusing on one special topic annually, the sessions will not only give participants the oppor- tunity to work with distinguished experts, but will also provide a platform for participants to engage in dialogue with others working in similar or related fields. In addition to seminar sessions, workshops, and lectures, the summer school program offers the chance for extended consultation with a number of internationally renowned scholars from all fields of media studies.

The directors of the summer school will lead five seminars. Furthermore, additional sessions led by the summer school faculty on particular aspects of the annual topic will give plenty of opportunities for interaction and par- ticipation. A series of evening events such as lectures and film screenings will further develop and delve into the theme of the summer school.

Bernhard Siegert (Weimar) and Nikolaus Wegmann (Princeton) will be this year‘s directors of the summer school.

This year’s faculty will include Jimena Canales (Harvard), Thomas Levin (Princeton), Emily Thompson (Princeton), Devin Fore (Princeton), Anna Tuschling (Bochum), Ben Kafka (New York), Joel Lande (Princeton/ Chicago), Laura Frahm (Weimar), Christoph Engemann (Weimar), and Mladen Gladic (Princeton).

A reader with texts and material for the seminars will be provided. The working language is English.

Annual Topic 2012: “Spaces of Media”

The 2012 Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies will focus on the complex intersections of media and space. Media Studies started with Harold A. Innis’ exploration of the role of media in shaping the cultural and political spaces of societies. Yet the question of how to understand the ways in which spaces, localities, and modes of navigation in such domains are all generated by media remains an urgent challenge for today’s Media Studies.

How much do we know about the history of navigation and its technologies and techniques, from maps and compasses to the latest GPS devices, and how are we to understand the ways of navigating by and within files, books, and writing? Do we fully understand the ways in which the spatiality of the diagrammatic contributes to the operations of the signifier, whether in the production of meaning or in the production of economic values, or administrative control? Do we have an adequate grasp on the way in which media of distribution and circulation effect the constitution and control of geographic spaces? And do we still believe in media utopias, according to which space has been successfully annihilated as an insignificant factor thanks to high transmission speeds and minimal transaction costs?

The 2012 Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies takes its cues from these questions. Some of the topics that will receive particular focus during the week-long series of intensive seminars, lectures and workshops include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Media practices such as like note-taking, mapping, bookkeeping, and filing with regard to their consequences for the access to, and control of, economic, commercial, colonial, or imperial spaces;
  • Historical case studies concerning different media formations, e.g. the Roman Imperium and its flows of command, the European postal sys- tem, and the German Democratic Republic as a self-contained national territory;
  • The production of architectural space by doors and windows, corridors, lifts, and other devices, and the hybridization of these spaces in the electronic and digital ages;
  • The connection between of media, media research and media utopia, which tends to negate the specificity of space as a mere resistance to communication and commerce in favor of its overcoming;
  • Political and juridical spaces such as the territory of the state or the space of international law was based on the distinction between land and sea for centuries. The sea is not only the space of what is ex- cluded from the orders of state and law, and their institutions, it is also the space of the “othering” of the self and of its re-invention;
  • Categories such as nation, homeland, countryside, and the metropolis that provide both orientation as well as an imagination of rootedness and identity, are central realities of media. Theoretical and literary approa- ches to reframe these media spaces in terms of a global village (Marshall McLuhan), the cyberspace (William Gibson), a world society (Niklas Luhmann), or of imagined communities (Benedict Anderson) will be in- terrogated as powerful narratives that heavily influence actual politics.

How to Apply

All applications to the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies should be submitted electronically as PDF file including:

  1. Letter of Intent, indicating academic experience and interest in the summer school’s annual topic (max. 300 words)
  2. Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  3. Writing Sample (max. 20 pages, double spaced, with standard margins; e.g. published article or seminar paper)
  4. Contact information of two potential references

Please label your PDF files as follows: Lastname_Letter_of_Intent.pdf, Lastname_Curriculum_Vitae.pdf, Lastname_Writing_Sample.pdf

Please submit your application material no later than December 5, 2011 to:

Successful applicants will be notified in the first week of January 2012.

Successful applicants are required to transfer a participation fee of $750 (not reducible) no later than February 29, 2012.

The fee covers tuition, full accommodation, meals, and study material during the week of the summer school.

A limited amount of travel funding will be available upon application.


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