9556 - The Technologies of Writing - This course provides a survey of the critical responses to the concept of techne. The term derives from the Greek, meaning "skill, or craft," and, most especially, the kind of knowledge derived from experience that allows one to produce something without necessarily understanding its principles.
From Plato's demonization of writing as that which usurps the living presence of speech, to Baudrillard's critique of computer simulation, the technologies of writing have occupied a special place in the critical debates concerning techne. Following Nietzsche's observation that "Our writing materials contribute their part to our thinking," this course will map the conceptual territory that links the stylus with the microprocessor in order to address such issues as: the fatality of writing, the technological flight from the "chora" of the maternal body, the function of memory as "archive," the loss of "aura" in the age of mechanical reproduction, the constitution of the human as a "standing reserve," the role of surveillance in the production of subjectivity, the cultural gendering of new technologies, the end of the real, and the dawn of the virtual.
The reading list will include works by Adorno, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Derrida, Foucault, Freud, Habermas, Haraway, Heidegger, Irigaray, Kittler, McLuhan, Plato, Virilio, and Zizek.
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