Challenges of Media Anthropology

7th Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies, Weimar, June 11-17, 2017


Renée Altergott

holds a BA in French and Music Composition from Northwestern University (2008) and a Masters in French from the University of Paris Diderot-7 (2013). As a current PhD candidate in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University, her research focuses on media studies, ethnomusicology, colonialism and post-colonialism, and the aesthetics of listening in French-language literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her dissertation will explore the impact of sound recording on the writing of sound in Caribbean postcolonial novels, through the lens of ethnomusicology. Recent conference papers include “Musiques de terroir: Champfleury and the Chansons populaires des provinces de France (1860)” and “Barthes’ Ghost in the Machine: Italo Calvino’s fictional re-writing of Barthes in ‘A King Listens’.”

Jessica Bardsley

Nicholas Croggon

is a writer, editor and historian of modern and contemporary art. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008, and worked for several years as a solicitor in the field of environmental law. In 2011 he co-founded the contemporary Australian art journal Discipline. He is currently completing his dissertation in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University in New York, focusing on American video practices in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Curt Gambetta

is a third year PhD student in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He holds degrees in political science and architecture from Vassar College and Rice University. Prior to joining the PhD program at Princeton, he was a teaching fellow at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Los Angeles and the Banham Fellow at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture in New York. In 2002-03 and 2004-05, Curt was a resident of the Sarai program of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, India. His design and research practice has included a number of public installations, salons and curatorial residencies in Los Angeles, Buffalo and Houston, with a focus on the architecture of infrastructural systems such as waste and street lighting. His dissertation research examines material histories of architecture in 20th century India.

Corinna Kirsch

is a PhD student in Art History at Stony Brook University, the State University of New York. Her research concerns video art circa 1970; expanding and complicating video art's history via mechanical and industrial television. At Stony Brook University, Kirsch teaches courses on the history and theory of art and technology; additionally, she is a member of the Media, Art, Culture, and Technology (MACT) working group. In 2016, she received a DAAD grant to study computer prototypes at the Ulm School of Design; co-organized a panel on International Cybernetics for the 2016 Southeastern College of Art Conference; and presented on Les Levine's "Body Control Systems" at the 2017 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference. She lives in Brooklyn. Kirsch received her MA degree in Art History from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with her thesis "Early Video Art: From Anti-TV to Anti-Eye" and BA degrees in English and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sebastian P. Klinger

is a second-year PhD candidate at Princeton University. He works on subjects related to literary and media history from the 18th century through the 20th century, with emphasis around 1900. His current research focuses on rhetoric, anachronicity and “the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous” in modernity, and on the poetology of knowledge. Sebastian also continues to write about lyrical poetry, notably on Rainer Maria Rilke. His most recent publication relates Paul Celan to the religious philosopher Lev Shestov (Jahrbuch der deutschen Schiller-Gesellschaft, 2015). Before coming to Princeton, Sebastian studied European literature, philosophy and history of art in Germany and Britain where he graduated from Oxford in 2015.

Katie Lally

is a doctoral student in the Literature department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Jewish Studies from San Francisco State University, after studying abroad at Universität Tübingen and the Freie Universität in Berlin. She is interested in early psychoanalytic writing that looks beyond the bourgeois family, Jewish diasporic writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, and literary descendants of German-language Modernism. Her work investigates how notions of disease and pathology inform subjectivity, and the ethics involved in practices of reading and performance.

Ekaterina Odé

is a doctoral candidate in film studies and philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris in interdisciplinary program SACRe (Science, Art, Creation and Research). She is currently working on her dissertation entitled, The Voice Without Phenomenon: Towards an Archeology of Acousmatic Voice in the Cinema. This research engages film studies and contemporary phenomenology with its anthropological focus. Her work is also concerned with formalist theory of film-language (cinematic language), media theory, art, esthetics and technology. She previously was interested in harmony and studied philosophy in Saint-Petersburg State University (MA degree) where she discovered media-philosophy and psychoanalysis. She holds also MA degree in contemporary phenomenology in ENS-EHESS (Paris).

Ying Sze Pek

is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Art and Archaeology. She is currently researching a dissertation on the work of Hito Steyerl in the context of postwar German art and cinema. During the 2016-17 academic year, she was a Helena Rubinstein Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.

Michelle Pfeifer

is a doctoral student in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her work examines the relationship between bio/necropower, political violence, governmentality, and affect. She is interested in the affective dimensions of biopolitical technologies in the context of migration and asylum and the strategies abandoned populations develop to suspend the conditions of asylum that mark them as disposable within the logics of citizenship and belonging. Michelle’s work also examines the history and cultural memory/amnesia of German colonialism in relationship to contemporary migration and refugee politics. Her research is informed by her engagement in queer and feminist activism and migrants’ rights solidarity in Germany. Michelle holds a MA in Social and Cultural Analysis from NYU and a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from the Amsterdam University College. She is an alumna of the German National Academic Foundation and has published in the journals Femina Politica and Feministische Studien.

Joseph Pomp

(b. 1992) is currently completing a PhD in Comparative Literature with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice at Harvard University. His scholarly work addresses a wide range of areas in international film, from classical Hollywood to New German Cinema to contemporary production in the former Third World, with a focus on Francophone Africa. He is preparing two large-scale media art projects: a video installation that presents a trans-historical map of Manhattan, and a hyper- media encyclopedia of writers that moved from literature to film. His publications include: “Genre at a Crossroads: The Korean Road Movie.” In The Global Road Movie, ed. Timothy Corrigan and José Duarte. Bristol: Intellect Books, forthcoming in 2017; “Ideas as Images: Thom Andersen’s The Thoughts That Once We Had.” The Brooklyn Rail, June 2016; Review of Hollywood Vault: Film Libraries before Home Video by Eric Hoyt. Film Quarterly 68:3 (Spring 2015): 94-96.

Jessica Ruffin

is a PhD student in the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a BA in Film and Media Studies (Stanford University) and a MA in Humanities (University of Chicago). Her work engages cinema and media history, spectatorial theory, aesthetics and critical theory – aiming to theorize the aesthetic experience and spectatorship as political praxis. Her current research performs a media archaeology of the sublime, from mysticism to digital intersubjectivity, seeking to explicate how the forms and rhythms of temporal media have and might still unsettle habitual perception and encourage the dissociative leaps characteristic of ethical reasoning. From 2008-2013, Jessica held the position of editor at Millennium Film Journal. She is currently on the board of directors of Aubin Pictures, a non-profit documentary company focused on issues of social justice, arts and culture, as well as on the editorial board of qui parle, a critical humanities and social sciences journal chaired by graduate students of UC Berkeley.

Rory Solomon

is a doctoral student in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He is also a software engineer, artist, and Adjunct Faculty at Parsons The New School for Design. His research focusses on mesh networks, wireless infrastructure, the media archaeology of software, and computer programming education. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School, where his thesis “The Stack: A Media Archaeology of the Computer Program” received an Award of Academic Achievement.

Franziska Strack

is a PhD student in Political Science (Political Theory) at Johns Hopkins University, and works as a reviewer for a student journal. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from the Free University Berlin, and studied Cultural Studies and Social Science at the Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Amsterdam, working on memory practices in urban space, and feminist political thought. Her research interests include aesthetics and affect theory, new materialism, film and media studies, memory politics, and feminist and queer theory. In her current work, she uses sound art, film, and poetry alongside Deleuzian philosophy to explore the affective register of ethico-political projects, and challenge common notions of communication and subject formation. More generally, her work introduces sound and media studies literature, chaos theory, and neurobiological research to political theory to think about the sonic, affective, aesthetic, and temporal dimensions of (non)human life and agency.

Arthur Wang

is a PhD student in English literature at Yale University. Previously, he worked as a software engineer at Datadog, a startup in New York City, and studied English, American Studies, and creative writing at Oxford and Princeton.

Kathryn Wataha

is an MD-PhD fellow in the Medical School and Department of History at the University of Michigan. Her interdisciplinary training as a practitioner of medicine, science and technology studies, and the history of science and medicine has led her to the doorstep of media theory. Katie explores the production of sonic and ultrasonic devices and knowledge constructs through the lens of animal model systems – taking seriously entanglements between non-human actants, the materialities of communication, and sound-reproduction machines. Katie is particularly fascinated by logics of sonic imperceptibility and the multiple ways in which humans make sense of the things they cannot sense. Her research probes how certain modes of knowing and experiencing the (in)sense-able may inform classification schemas, sociocultural discourses, and experimental design and practice in science and medicine. She has previously studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and History at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She has also worked two years in a translational research biology lab.

Moira Weigel

is currently completing a PhD in Comparative Literature and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. Her dissertation explores the prehistory of posthumanism in early twentieth century film and media theory. Her first book, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2016. In a series of interlinking essays, it investigates the shape-shifting institution of dating--which, she contends, names the cultural logic of courtship under consumer-driven capitalism. In 2017, she joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow.

Franziska Winter

has been working as doctoral research member of the DFG research group Medien und Mimesis (FOR 1867) at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar since October 2015. Prior to that she studied Cultural Science, Philosophy and Media Studies in Hamburg, Stockholm and Lüneburg. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as a student- and later a research assistant at the Institut für Medienkulturen der Computer Simulation (MECS) at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. Her main research interests appertain to the fields of media aesthetic, media philosophy and body imaging. Recent publications are ›A Body to look through. Onto the spatiotemporal matters of attendance‹ (in: Yearbook of Moving Image Studies 2017) and ›Drei Elche für ein Diorama. Zur mimetischen Qualität des raumbildlichen Als-ob‹ (in: Tierstudien 11/17 – Mimesis - Mimikry - Mimese).

Dominik Zechner

studied media studies and philosophy in Vienna and New York. He received his Magister der Philosphie for a thesis on Derrida’s Mal d’archive. In 2013, he joined New York University’s German department where his dissertational research revolves around figures of survival and finitude in 20th century literature and philosophy. Dominik has instructed courses for NYU’s department of comparative literature, the German department’s language program, and the humanities “Core” curriculum. He has published on Jacques Derrida’s Carte postale, Kafka’s “Sorge des Hausvaters,” and Thomas Bernhard's Meine Preise. Most recently, he edited a special issue on prizes, prizes speeches, and the rhetoric of acceptance, published with Modern Language Notes (Comparative Literature Issue, December 2016). He is the recipient of NYU’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the Otto Mainzer Fellowship.