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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

IAS Emergence of Experience Workshop: Bernard Stiegler 'The Anthropocene and the crisis of the human'

20th January 2015, 16:00, IAS Seminar room, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green

Thinking around the Anthropocene routinely focuses on the ways in which humans’ technological transformation of the environment has brought about a catastrophic disequilibrium in the self-regulating system that constitutes the planet’s climate, which will have dramatic consequences for our survival (Lovelock). Stiegler’s contribution to this debate has focused on the way in which this envisaged demise has been preceded and exacerbated by our spiritual demise, via a consumerist relationship with technology that has left us demotivated and short-termist, clinging to technological messiahs, at the very moment when we need to be making long-term sacrifices for the sake of the future. His argument resonates strongly with Susan Greenfield’s recent Mind Change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains (2014), which suggests that our current attitudes to screen media are jeopardising the complexity of consciousness that we identify with human thought. This seminar will discuss pre-circulated work by Greenfield and Stiegler, beginning with an introductory presentation by Gerald Moore.

This is to let you know that the preparatory reading to be discussed in the second Stiegler event in Durham (see below, highlighted in yellow) will be as follows: 

1. Bernard Stiegler, 'Of Symbolic Misery, the Control of Affects and the Shame that Follows' (Introduction), Symbolic Misery 1, 2014 [2004]. (13pp)

 2. Susan Greenfield, 'Out of Your Mind' (ch8), Mind Change, 2014. (9pp) 

Please email me if you would like a copy of these readings, and to give us an idea of how many we can expect in the seminar on Tuesday 20th. For anyone who wants to read up more on Stiegler in advance, I will also throw in a copy of the introduction to mine and Christina Howells's book on him.

Contact n.d.b.saul@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.