Professor Dr. Armen Avanessian takes over as Chair of Media Theory at ZU

The ZU has appointed Professor Dr. Armen Avanessian to the Chair of Media Theory. The native of Vienna, who is of Armenian origin, is a welcome addition to the Department of Cultural and Communication Studies at ZU.

Taking over the Chair of Media Theory at Zeppelin University: Professor Dr. Armen Avanessian. (Photo: ZU/Lena Reiner)

“My goal was and is to work together with other researchers, teachers and students on social issues with relevance for the future, at the interface between (media) technology, politics and business – and to do so in the longer term at a university that is predestined for this both by its location and its institutional design,” explained Armen Avanessian on his appointment to the role.

Armen Avanessian studied Philosophy and Political Science in Vienna and Paris and Literature in Bielefeld. After completing his dissertation on “Phenomenology of Ironic Spirit. Ethics, Poetics and Politics in Modernity”, he worked for several years as a freelance journalist, editor and in publishing in Paris and London and as a research assistant at the Free University of Berlin. In the USA, he was Visiting Fellow at the German Department at Columbia University in 2011, Visiting Fellow at the German Department at Yale University in 2012 and was a Thomas Mann Fellow in 2019. In recent years, Armen Avanessian has held several guest professorships and guest lectureships at various art academies in Nuremberg, Vienna, Basel, Copenhagen, Paris, and California, among others – most recently at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts.

In addition to his academic activities, Armen Avanessian is Editor-at-Large at the publishing company, Merve Verlag. He also directed the weekly theory series “Armen Avanessian & Enemies” at the Volksbühne (“People's Theatre”) Berlin for several years. He is the author of several books that have been translated into numerous languages. His latest work entitled "Konflikt. Von der Dringlichkeit, die Probleme von morgen schon heute zu lösen” (Conflict. The urgency of solving tomorrow's problems today) will be published next year by Ullstein Verlag. His research and teaching at ZU will also focus on this topic. In media theory, he also intends to make an in-depth study of media infrastructures, platforms and logistics.

“Armen Avanessian and his work are both interdisciplinary and forward-looking. As a philosopher, literary scholar and theorist, he explores from a future perspective how, for example, digitization, its technologies and media will shape and change our economy, culture and politics. From this unusual view of the present, we expect to see alternative perspectives on familiar cultural phenomena and new synergies for learners and teachers alike,” said ZU President Professor Klaus Mühlhahn.

Time to decide

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