Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Hear 3 important figures in modern communications theory speak!

"These remarkable audio clips of Raymond Williams appear here courtesy of Professor Clarke Mackey, Department of Film Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada. They were featured on his 1998 web site, Memory Palace: Vernacular Culture in the Digital Age, "an audio-visual documentary web site committed to questioning conventional assumptions about art and culture." They originally appeared on his web site in a now-dated Real Player format, and appear here in MP3 format".
They are followed by some clips of the German sociologist/systems theorist Niklas Luhmann and the British social theorist Gerard Delanty. I paste below Paul Jones piece which argues, from a Williams's perspective, against alternative perspectives on media technology, as embodied by the technological determinism of Marshall McLuhan, followed finally, but some interesting resources not only on media. ICTs, but more expansive postmodern notions i.e. cyborgs etc.

Raymond Williams 1: On compulsory education's trivialization and exclusion of "the local".
Raymond Williams 2: On the supposed "democratizing" functions of technological advances.
Raymond Williams 3: On the split between political and economic imperatives, and democracy as direct access to decision making.

Raymond Williams 4: On creating incompetence through schooling: "If you can't do it well enough, you might as well forget it."

Raymond Williams 5: To be cultivated means learning to shut up.

Raymond Williams 6: On the linkage between the notions of the fixed work and the notion of "property": The paradoxical result the "work" concept is that it cuts the process off from those on whom its success depends.
MDG home page

Niklas Luhmann:

Gerard Delanty Abstract
This seminar explores the changing nature of the relation of Europe to Asia, especially in light of developments in Asia, the fragmentation of the West, and the growing importance of the external dimension to Europeanization as well as the wider context of globalization. These topics will be related to a cosmopolitan perspective. The argument is that the relation to Asia is coming increasingly to the fore today and the future of Europeanization will depend to a large degree on cosmopolitan opportunities.
Professor Delanty is currently a Visiting Research Fellow, Deakin University, Melbourne. He mainly works in the field of social and political theory, in particular with respect to the European cultural and political heritage. He is the Editor of the European Journal of Social Theory. His recent research grants have been from the European Commission for a project on xenophobia and one on Democracy in European in Central and Eastern Europe. He is the author of over 90 papers, eleven books and seven edited volumes, including Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (Macmillan, 1995), Social Theory in a Changing World: Conceptions of Modernity (Polity Press, 1999), Citizenship in the Global Age: Culture, Society and Politics (Open University Press, 2000), (with C. Rumford), Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization (Routledge, 2005), editor of the Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory (Routledge, 2006), (with K. Kumar), Handbook of Nations and Nationalism (Sage, 2006) and Europe and Asia Beyond East and West (Routledge, 2006).
Powerpoint with this paper
Mp3 Audio of this paper (approx 15 MB)

Paul Jones Beyond Ages and Eras: avoiding societal projections by typologising ICTs:

Some interesting resources here as well, although be warned he seems to favour a more postmodern approach in regard to focusing the reader's attention space:
He also promises the following, not least a "movie" about cyborgs!!:
"A Cyborg Manifesto" is one of the more difficult essays you'll read this term, ranging as it does across the whole field of late-2oth century critical theory and philosophy, not to mention various fields of science (cybernetics, biology) and political theory (feminism, Marxism). One of the better overviews of Haraway's ideas appeared in Wired Magazine some years ago; it's still available online here.
View "Cyborgs"--The Movie! here.
Lastly, but not least of all, here acting on a tip-off, some fascinating items can be found in the following links having to do with communication and self-management, the nature of blogging, and a great deal else besides. One to watch in the future.

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