Supplementary Readings & Essay Topics

The following is a partial list of readings related to Kittler and contemporary German media theory. This list is not exhaustive, so if you come across further readings that will be of interest to the class, please email them to me so that I may update the list.

This list is meant only to offer you follow-ups and further ideas for your essays. I recommend browsing the special journal issues that are listed. If you have trouble locating some of these texts, contact me, as I may have copies I can lend to you or make for you. A large number of these titles are available through e-journals are other online venues. I have included URLs for certain articles and reviews.

There are of course numerous avenues that you may pursue in your essays without referring to these articles in particular, so please contact me if you have questions!

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SOME POSSIBLE ESSAY TOPICS:

– Case study of a writing or recording that allows for materialities, posthermeneutic or posthumanist approaches

  • book, story, song, album, film, etc. of your choice

– Case study of a particular media or technological development

  • a historical or contemporary point of interest

– Case study of a particular art form

– A Theoretical point of comparison between Kittler and his main sources

  • McLuhan, Heidegger, Lacan, Shannon/Weaver, etc.

– Kittler’s approach to media and psychoanalysis

– The role of military technologies and war in Kittlerian theory

– Case studies that allow for a critique of Kittler and/or other materialities approaches or methodology

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SUPPLEMENTARY SOURCES:

http://www.hydra.umn.edu/kittler/
A useful web hub on Kittler with a bibliography (mostly up-to-date until 2006), biography, and several excerpts in English.

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Introductory Readings and General Approaches
(some are already in our syllabus):

David E. Wellbery (1990). “Forward.” In Friedrich Kittler. Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Stanford: Stanford University Press. vii-xxxiii.
Also: http://www.hydra.umn.edu/kittler/wellbery.html

Joseph Donatelli and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (1995). “Why Media Matters: An Introduction.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 28.4: v-xxiv.

Joseph Donatelli and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (1995). “Literature and Media Change: A Selective Mutlidisciplinary Bibliography.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 28.4: 165-185.

Matthew Griffin (1996). “Literary Studies +/- Literature: Friedrich Kittler’s Media Histories.” New Literary History 27.4: 709-716.

John Johnston (1997). “Friedrich Kittler: Media Theory After Poststructuralism,” in Friedrich Kittler, Literature, Media, Information Systems. John Johnston, ed. Amsterdam: G&B Arts International. 1-26.

Joseph Tabbi and Michael Wutz (1997). “Introduction.” In: Reading Matters: Narratives in the New Media Ecology. Joseph Tabbi and Michael Wutz (eds.). Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press. 1-25.

Marcel O’Gorman (1999). “Friedrich Kittler’s Media Scenes: An Instruction Manual. A review of Friedrich Kittler, Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays. Amsterdam: G+B Arts, 1997.” Postmodern Culture 10.1:
http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.999/10.1.r_ogorman.txt

Geoffrey Winthrop Young and Michael Wutz (1999). “Translator’s Introduction: Friedrich Kittler and Media Discourse Analysis.” In Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. Stanford: Stanford University Press. xi-xxxviii.

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz (2002). “Introduction: Media—Models, Memories, and Metaphors.” Configurations 10.1: 1-10.

Nicolas Gane (2005). “Radical Post-humanism: Friedrich Kittler and the Primacy of Technology.” Theory, Culture & Society 22(3): 25-41.

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Nicholas Gane (2006), “Friedrich Kittler: An Introduction,” Theory, Culture, and Society 23.7: 5-16.

Eva Horn (2007). “Editor’s Introduction: There Are No Media.” Grey Room 29.1: 2-8.

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Other Articles by Kittler:

(1981) “Forgetting.” Discourse. Berkeley Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 3: 88-121

(1990) “Benn’s Poetry – A Hit in the Charts.” Substance. A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism XIX.1 (Special Issue: Voice-Over: On Technology ed. Laurence Rickels): 5-20.

(1990) “The Mechanized Philosopher.” Looking After Nietzsche. Laurence Rickels, ed. New York: State University of New York Press.195-207.

(1995) “There Is No Software.” [ctheory.net] Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, eds.
http://ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=74

(1996) “The City is a Medium.” New Literary History. 4.27: 717–729.

(1996) “The History of Communication Media.” [ctheory.net] Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, eds.
http://ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=45
also: http://www.hydra.umn.edu/kittler/software.html

(1997) Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays. Ed. John Johnston, Amsterdam: G+B Arts. Anthology which includes 8 articles (several already in our syllabus):
— One: “Gramophone, Film, Typewriter” (a different translation of the introduction to the book)
— Two: “Dracula’s Legacy”
— Three: “Romanticism—Psychoanalysis—Film: A History of the Double”
— Four: “Media and Drugs in Pynchon’s Second World War”
— Five: “Media Wars: Trenches, Lightning, Stars”
— Six: “The World of the Symbolic—A World of the Machine”
— Seven: “There is No Software”
— Eight: “Protected Mode”

(1999) “On the Implementation of Knowledge.” Readme! (nettime): ASCII culture and the revenge of knowledge, ed. Josephine Bosma. Brooklyn: 60-68.
http://www.hydra.umn.edu/kittler/implement.html

(2001) “Computer Graphics: A Semi-Technical Introduction.” Grey Room 2: 30-45.

(2002) “The Perspective of Print.” Configurations 10.1: 37-50.

(2003) “Man as a Drunken Town Musician.” MLN 118: 637–652.

(2006) “Number and Numeral.” Theory, Culture and Society 23.7: 51-61.

(2006) “Lightning and Series—Event and Thunder.” Theory, Culture and Society 23.7: 63-74.

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Texts of interest by other authors:

Siegfried Zielinski (1999). “Fissures—Dissonances—Questions—Visions.” New German Critique 78: 133-151.

Michael Giesecke (2002). “Literature as Product and Medium of Ecological Communciation.” Configurations 10.1: 11-35.

Georg Christoph Tholen (2002). “Media Metaphorology: Irritations in the
Epistemic Field of Media Studies.” South Atlantic Quarterly 101.3: 659-672.

Wolf Kittler (2002). “The Dioskuroi: Masters of the Information Channel.” Configurations 10.1: 111-127.

Hartmut Winkler (2002). “Discourses, Schemata, Technology, Monuments: Outline for a Theory of Cultural Continuity.” Configurations 10.1: 91-109.

Sybille Krämer (2003). “Writing, Notational Iconicity, Calculus: On Writing as a Cultural Technique.” MLN 118.3: 518-537.

Norbert Bolz (2003). “Aesthetics of Media: What is the Cost of Keeping Benjamin Current?” Mapping Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Digital Age. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Michael Marrinan, eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press: 24-29.

Bernhard Siegert (2003). “There Are No Mass Media.” Mapping Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Digital Age. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Michael Marrinan, eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press: 30-38.

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (2006). “Implosion and Intoxication: Kittler, a German Classic, and Pink Floyd.” Theory, Culture and Society 23.7: 75-91.

Sybille Krämer (2006). “The Cultural Techniques of Time Axis Manipulation On Friedrich Kittler’s Conception of Media.” Theory, Culture and Society 23.7: 93-109.

Claudia Breger (2006). “Gods, German Scholars, and the Gift of Greece Friedrich Kittler’s Philhellenic Fantasies.” Theory, Culture and Society 23.7. 111-134.

Bernhard Siegert (2007). “Cacography or Communication? Cultural Techniques in German Media Studies.” Grey Room 29.1: 27-47.

Joseph Vogl (2007). “Becoming-media: Galileo’s Telescope.” Grey Room 29.1: 14-25.

Claus Pias (2007). ““Hollerith ‘Feathered Crystal’”: Art, Science, and Computing in the Era of Cybernetics.” Grey Room 29.1: 110-133.

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Anthologies and Special Journal Issues on German Media Theory:

SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism 61 (1990): Special Issue: Voice-Over: On Technology. Laurence Rickels, ed.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and K. Ludwig Pfeiffer, eds. (1994). Materialities of Communication. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 28.4 (1995). Joseph Donatelli and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, eds.

New German Critique 78 (1999): Special Issue on German Media Theory.
Special Issue on German Media Theory

The South Atlantic Quarterly 101.3 (2002): Special Issue: Medium Cool. Guest Editors: Andrew McNamara and Peter Krapp.

Configurations 10.1 (2002): Special Issue: Media, Materiality, Memory: Aspects of Intermediality. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz, eds.

MLN 118.3 (2003): German Issue: Literature and the History of Science. Rudiger Campe, ed.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Michael Marrinan, eds. (2003). Mapping Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Digital Age. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Theory, Culture, and Society, Vol. 23, No. 7 (2006): Special Issue on Kittler, including essays on Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway and others.

Grey Room 29.1 (2007): Special Issue on German Media Theory.

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Interviews with Kittler:

Laurence Rickels (1992). “Spooky Electricity: Laurence Rickels talks with Friedrich Kittler.” Artforum, December: 66-70.

Matthew Griffin and Susanne Herrmann, “Technologies of Writing: Interview with Friedrich A. Kittler,” New Literary History, Vol. 27, No. 4 (1996), 731-742.

John Armitage (2007). “From Discourse Networks to Cultural Mathematics: An Interview with Friedrich A. Kittler.” Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 23, No. 7: 17-38.

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Some Reviews and Critics:

Franz Futterknecht (1987). “Mother’s Mouth and Typewriter.” Poetics Today 8.3-4: 675-687. (Critique of Discourse Networks 1800/1900)

Bruce Clarke. “Friedrich Kittler’s Technosublime.” Review of Gramophone, Film, Typewriter. http://www.altx.com/ebr/reviews/rev10/r10cla.htm

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young. “German TV Troubles: Review of the Special Issue on German Media Studies, New German Critique 78, Fall 1999.” http://www.altx.com/ebr/reviews/rev11/r11young.htm

Thomas Sebastian (1996). “Technology Romanticized: Friedrich Kittler’s Discourse Networks 1800/1900.” MLN 105.3: 583-595.

Michael Geisler (1999). “From Building Blocks to Radical Construction: West German Media Theory Since 1984.” New German Critique 78: 75-107. (Critique of Kittler and others.)

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