“Underground NORAD Complex in North Bay”, Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence.

Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan is a Reader in the History and Theory of Digital Media (loosely equivalent to associate or w2 professorship)​. An overarching theme of his research is how “cultural” sciences shape—and are shaped by—digital media. This concern spans his writing on the mutual constitution of cybernetics and the human sciences, ethnicity and AI, and the role of mid-twentieth century military vigilance in the development of interactive, multimedia computing.  His attention to cultural factors in technical systems also figured in his work as a curator, notably for the Anthropocene and Technosphere projects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. 

Bernard's book Code: From Information Theory to French Theory examines how liberal technocratic projects, with roots in colonialism, mental health, and industrial capitalism, shaped early conceptions of digital media and cybernetics. It offers a revisionist history of "French Theory" as an effort to come to terms with technical ideas of communications and as a predecessor to the digital humanities. N. Katherine Hayles wrote of this book that it “upends standard intellectual histories” and Lev Manovich that “after reading this original and fascinating book, you will never look at key thinkers of the twentieth century in the same way.” Early drafts of the book’s argument appeared in journals including Grey Room and Critical Inquiry.

Bernard's current book project, Screenscapes: How Formats Render Territories, draws on infrastructure studies and format studies to offer a radical account of how digital screens produce global space. It considers the digital interface in terms of articulation, i.e., in its technoscientific formatting of territories, temporalities, and practices as “ecologies of operations.” Excerpts appear in Representations (“An Ecology of Operations”) and MLN  ("The Bitmap is the Territory"). 

Bernard received a binational (cotutelle) PhD in media studies from Northwestern and Bauhaus Universities, for a dissertation advised by Samuel Weber, Bernhard Siegert and Jennifer S. Light. He also studied in Paris with Bruno Latour and Bernard Stiegler. 

Most of Bernard's publications are available for free download here. If you can't find what you are looking for there, please contact him directly at bernard@u.northwestern.edu.  He may also be reached at Twitter or iTunes. Sometimes he posts short videos on YouTube. ​His CV also links to many of his essays. 

He recommends the movie Gutland