We are Born Obsolete: Günther Anders and the Post-literary Condition

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


This is the 2022 (re-sheduled) ZeM Spring lecture hosted by the Brandenburgische Zentrum für Medienwissenschaft

Description of talk:

When humans let loose their products into the world, they reap a haunting in return....(Günther Anders, Haunting and 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.
Period1 Dec 2022
Held atBrandenburgische Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (ZeM), Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational