Kleine Formen – an der HU Berlin nimmt ein neues literaturwissenschaftliches DFG-Graduiertenkolleg seine Arbeit auf

Am 1. April 2017 nimmt das DFG-Graduiertenkollegs 2190 “Literatur- und Wissensgeschichte kleiner Formen” seine Arbeit an der Humboldt-Universität auf. Ein Interview mit dem Sprecher des Graduiertenkollegs, Prof. Dr. Joseph Vogl.

Interview von Dennis Shep

Können Sie kurz schildern, womit das Kolleg sich beschäftigen wird?

Der Ausgangspunkt des Forschungsprojekts “Literatur- und Wissensgeschichte kleiner Formen” besteht zunächst in der Annahme, dass kleine Formen, die genremäßig wenig fixiert sind, einen großen Anteil an der Verfertigung, Zirkulation und Organisation von Wissen haben, oft aber unter der Beobachtungsschwelle bleiben. Damit hängt – und das wäre ein zweiter Punkt – zusammen, dass der Bezug dieser Formen zu unmittelbaren Praxiskontexten oder Gebrauchsroutinen sehr stark ist; dass sie sich weitgehend durch bestimmte praxeologische Perspektiven definieren, unter anderem in Zusammenhang mit bestimmten Medienformaten, und zwar vom medizinischen Aphorismus in der Antike bis zu Fragen von sozialen Netzwerken und Twitter in der gegenwärtigen Kommunikation.

weiterlesen…

Size Matters: Knowledge, Storage, and the History of Compression

Hansun Hsiung recently finished his PhD about textbooks and the globalization of scientific knowledge in the nineteenth century at Harvard. He is currently working on a project about compression at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. An interview with Hansun Hsiung on the History of Compression

Interview by Dennis Schep

What is the history of compression?

In the past decade or so, several historians, most notably Ann Blair, have attempted to historicize our contemporary “information overload” by excavating precursors from the early modern era. These studies have shown that since the rise of commercial print at latest, we’ve been creatively struggling with the problem of “too much to know.” My project takes this line of inquiry, and refocuses it on problems of material infrastructure. Knowledge is embedded in objects, and we build infrastructures such as libraries and archives to house these objects. But objects take up space. Thus, if information overload does have a long history, then this history is not only a problem of “too much to know.” It must also be a problem of “too much to store.”

weiterlesen…

Ernst, Tragisch, Problematisch – Guido Mazzoni on Late Capitalism and the Theory of the Novel

Guido MazzoniGuido Mazzoni is a poet, essayist and a founding editor of Le parole e le cose, Italy’s leading cultural webzine. He is a professor at the University of Siena. In 2011 he published Teoria del romanzo, which has now been translated into English for Harvard University Press.

Interview by Chris Fenwick

Guido Mazzoni, you gave a talk at the Freie Universität summarizing ideas from your new book, Theory of the Novel. Could you tell us in more detail about the argument of your book and how it differs from past theories of the novel?

In my view the novel is defined by two elements. One element is linked to a language game: the novel is something that narrates; the novel tells a story. The second element is the fact that the novel has become the genre in which you can narrate anything in any way whatsoever.

To turn to the first element – what does it mean to narrate a story? In the twentieth century, narratology established one ahistorical answer. My answer has a historical starting point.

weiterlesen…