Ronald Thomas Foster
Explorations of current research in the humanities, most frequently with interdisciplinary emphasis. Offered by selected UW faculty and scholars-in-residence.
The goals of this seminar are to assess the political claims made for new media and technologies and to define possible points of articulation and/or conflict and critique between Marxist traditions and theories of radical democracy, on the one hand, and new technocultural formations, on the other hand. Our objects of study will include both popular reflections on new technologies and social movements organized around them. The course will bring together three strands of inquiry: 1) the ongoing structural transformation of the democratic public sphere and the mass mediation of social relations and models of citizenship; 2) the emergence of new models of cultural belonging out of debates on intellectual property, including copyleft, the creative commons, and open source cultures; 3) debates about the political meanings of new forms of technological self-transformation, including post- and transhumanism, as well as biotechnology and cognitive theories of the expanded mind or the "natural-born cyborg."
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