10 Theses for a

Chair of Media Theory

  1. The crisis of climate change calls on academics to rise above their disciplinary prejudices, for it is a crisis of many dimensions. (Dipesh Chakrarbarty) Image
  2. The challenge associated with digitization in view of new economic platforms and techno-political networks concerns above all the need for new institutions operating at the height of this knowledge, i.e. not least corresponding academic institutions. Image
  3. To pursue media theory in the 21st century in the sense of a future-orientated research directs the view to the transformation of immaterial and material goods triggered by digitization, to concrete media practices and the material foundations of our everyday digital culture. Image
  4. Norms were and are an attempt to cling to natural constants, like the standard meter of the French Revolution, which led medical historian Canguilhem and his follower Foucault to define post-1790 Europe as a culture of norms instead of laws. In this sense, I go one step further and say that after 1880 we find ourselves in an empire of standards. (Friedrich Kittler)Image
  5. First and foremost, it is media technological formats, standards, platforms, digital infrastructures, and corresponding logistics that set the course for our economic and cultural activities, as it were, institutionally (insofar as one understands institutions not only in reduced terms as materially built bridges, schools, or universities, but as the informal horizon spanned by shared values and expectations that configures our common actions and thinking). Image
  6. Especially with regard to the notion of media, infrastructure studies could benefit from integrating a perspective on cultural techniques, just as research into cultural techniques may gain insights by taking up arguments from infrastructure studies. And even beyond that: media theory can be seen as the field where cultural techniques and infrastructures have a common ground. (Gabriele Schabacher) Image
  7. The pandemic and global warming are just two much-discussed examples of the planetary dimension of current problems, as well as the need to program or strengthen corresponding planetary knowledge infrastructures in civil society.Image
  8. The biggest challenge facing critical theory now is arguably the reframing of the disciplines and critical theory in light of contemporary conditions and the long-term sustainability of life on Earth. (Achille Mbembe) Image
  9. The Anthropocene proclaims a sudden concern with the exposures of environmental harm to white liberal communities, it does so in the wake of histories in which these harms have been knowingly exported to black and brown communities under the rubric of civilization, progress, modernization, and capitalism. (Kathryn Yusoff)Image
  10. Especially for a media and cultural theory at an institution “bridging business culture politics” it is imperative to move beyond the distinction between cultural and natural history. With our conscious entry into the Anthropocene we have to include other (intelligent) actors in our reflection and production of knowledge, as well as to work on a new and planetary understanding of history and media history. Image

Andreas Töpfer drew the pictures as a response to Armen Avanessian's 10 theses at the Chair of Media Theory at Zeppelin University,

Friedrichshafen, January 2022 | © Andreas Töpfer

Avanessian, Armen
Avanessian, Armen Prof Dr


Avanessian, Armen
Avanessian, Armen Prof Dr
Phone:+49 7541 6009 - 1291
Room:FAB 3 | 1.49


Brakelmann, Dominic
Brakelmann, Dominic
Research Fellow
Room:FAB | 133
Time to decide

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