The Department of Art History and Communication Studies (AHCS) was pleased to host Dr. Andrew Feenberg, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology at Simon Fraser University, on 29 March 2007, as part of the departmental speaker series. Dr. Feenberg delivered a lecture entitled “From critical theory of technology to the rational critique of rationality” and also directed a graduate student seminar.
In addition , Dr. Feenberg graciously participated in an interview with Dr. Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship, during which time he elaborated on various aspects of his lecture including the philosophy of technology, democracy, media and the public sphere, and renowned theorist Herbert Marcuse.
Media@McGill is pleased to present the following clips from this interview (Windows Media Player required):
On the philosophy of technology On Herbert Marcuse On political posture and technology On the Internet Professor Andrew Feenberg has had a long and celebrated career at various academic institutions including San Diego State University, Duke University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Universities of California, San Diego and Irvine, the Sorbonne, the University of Paris-Dauphine, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, and the University of Tokyo. Amongst others, he is the author of Questioning Technology (Routledge, 1999), Modernity and Technology (MIT Press, 2003), and Community in the Digital Age (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004). His co-authored book on the French May Events of 1968 appeared in 2001 with SUNY Press under the title When Poetry Ruled the Streets.
Professor Marc Raboy, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications, was invited to participate in an interview for a short video completed as a class assignment by an undergraduate student group.The student group included Carolina Bisecco, Julie Chateauvert, Shanti Chopka and Raffi Povitz.
Interviews were conducted in Professor Norman F. Cornett’s class, Religion, Culture and Politics. The general theme of the class was a discussion on genocide with a specific focus on the Rwanda genocide.As part of the class, students read The Media and the Rwanda Genocide (Pluto Press/Fountain Publishers/IDRC 2007), edited by Allan Thompson.
Dr. Jonathan Sterne, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, has published an essay entitled “Urban media and the politics of sound space” in the journal Open. The article recently became available on-line through SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space), a Dutch organization which develops exceptional art projects in relation to public spaces.
Dr. Sterne’s essay deals with Muzak, also known as a ‘nonaggressive music deterrent’ that is used more and more often as a strategic weapon in the effort to make public space ‘safe’ and controllable. According to Dr. Sterne, its use is primarily aimed at excluding non-consumers. He suggests that Muzak is a vital component of urban design and that in addition to aesthetics, sound itself has political and ethical dimensions.
The recent $2.3 billion purchase bid by CanWest Global for Alliance-Atlantis has received substantial coverage in Canadian news circles, as well as foreign press like the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter. Absent from much of the reporting is that this is not CanWest's first time pounding at the door of national ownership restrictions. CanWest caused similar headaches for Australia's public regulators in the 1990s. History has shown this is a company quite willing to flaunt national policies and keep its intentions well-hidden.