After Kittler: On the Cultural Techniques of Recent German Media Theory

Below is the abstract of an essay I recently wrote on recent German media theory for the journal Theory, Culture & Society. I've also attached the article's uncorrected page proofs, which may not correspond to what will appear in the journal. The final, forthcoming text will appear as part of a collection of essays on Kulturtechnik edited by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, Jussi Parikka, and Ilinca Irascu. For the final, copyedited and paginated version, visit the Theory, Culture & Society website.

 

After Kittler: On the Cultural Techniques of Recent German Media Theory
by Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan

Abstract
This paper offers a brief introduction and interpretation of recent research on cultural techniques (or Kulturtechnikforschung) in German media studies. The analysis considers three sites of conceptual dislocations that have shaped the development and legacy of media research often associated with theorist Friedrich Kittler: first, the displacement of 1980s and 1990s Kittlerian media theory towards a more praxeological style of analysis in the early 2000s; second, the philological background that allowed the antiquated German appellation for agricultural engineering, Kulturtechniken, to migrate into media and cultural studies; and third, the role of these conceptual dislocations in enriching media-genealogical inquiries into topics such as life, biopolitics, and practice.

Keywords
agriculture, biopolitics, German media theory, Kittler, media archaeology