Lecturer: Benedetta Zaccarello (CNRS / CEFRES)
Institution: EKS Department, FHS UK
Time and address: Tuesday 11-12h20, 3rd floor, José Martího 31, Prague 6 – Veleslavín
Throughout a close reading of some texts of Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, the course aims to understand the contemporary use of mass media as the result of an historical process of evolution in our approaches to creativity and communication. Constantly reshaped by the forms of our social living and influenced by different kinds of power and authority, the idea of technique is understood through this course in its relation to knowledge, art, freedom and power. Students will be guided through an understanding of how technology influences our representation of the world, the ways in which we perceive our own experience, and the set of forms and signs we use to communicate.
Themes of the sessions
1. W. Benjamin, introduction to his life and work.
2. The essay on work of art, historical situation and theoretical novelty.
3. The concept of aura and its decay.
4. New forms of art, cinema as the non-auratic mode of art.
5. Adorno and Horkeimer: historical introduction to the Frankfurt School.
6. History, dialectics, culture.
7. Dialectic of enlightenment: the concept of enlightenment.
8. Enlightenment and technique.
9. Myth versus science: roots of our aim to domination.
10. From dictatorships to mass persuasion.
11. The cultural industry as our reflection.
12. Strategies of persuasion in cultural industry.