WINTHROP-YOUNG, Geoffrey

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Research interests Posthumanism and cultural evolution; theories of media, materialities of communication and/or memory; biological models of social change; secret societies and conspiracy theories; cultural studies with emphasis on technology and media history; Science Fiction (special focus on Alternate History). * 1999/2000: Visiting Fellow, Institute for German Cultural Studies, Cornell University. * 2002: UBC Killam Teaching Prize * Fall 2002: Visiting Associate Professor, Department of German, University of Chicago Current Projects: Media, Systems, Spheres: Probing German Posthumanism [WT]. An examination of the posthuman(ist) aspects of the works of Niklas Luhmann, Peter Sloterdijk, Friedrich Kittler and others with special focus on their grounding in anthropology, biology, and the theory of technology. Special sections include chapters on war and animals, Ernst Jünger and Jakob von Uexküll. Kittler and the Media. An introduction to Friedrich Kittler's media theory; under contract from Polity Press (to be completed 2009) "Of Sailors, Ships and Vampire Squids" [WT]. A reading of Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres ("From the Depths of the Ocean"), Carl Chun's opulently illustrated account of the German deep-sea expedition 1898/99 (also know as the Valdivia expedition). The most spectacular find was Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a rare cephalopod that later reappeared in Vilem Flusser's Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a philosophical fable which tries to imagine how the world would appear from the point of view of a "counterhuman" life form that presents the complete opposite of homo sapiens. A paper on Oswald Levett, Papilio Mariposa.

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Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z1
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604-822-5155
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Research Description
Geoffrey Winthrop-Young's main research areas are German and Canadian Media Theories and recent German "Kulturwissenschaften," with a special emphasis on questions of cultural evolution and posthumanism. His ongoing research projects include a study of German posthumanism as it emerges in media theory of Friedrich Kittler and Vilem Flusser, the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann, the anthropological contributions by Peter Sloterdijk and the new notion of "Kulturtechniken,| as well as the reception of contemporary German theorists and the depiction of animals (especially insects) in German culture. He is also currently translating Eva Horn's "Der geheime Krieg: Verrat, Spionage und moderne Fiktion."