Syncing... Subject, Media, Society Conference Day 2: 25th Annual Interdisciplinary German Studies Conference

Conference/Symposium | February 25 | 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall

 Helge Jordheim, University of Oslo, University of Trondheim; Christoph Cox, Hampshire College

 Department of German

“Not all people exist in the same Now,” claimed Ernst Bloch in his seminal 1932 book Erbschaft dieser Zeit (“Heritage of Our Times”). The rhythms of modernity had fractured society into isolated temporal worlds. While individuals occupied the same space, he argued, they lived ungleichzeitig – out of sync. Synchronism speaks to a temporal relation, a shared rhythm, or attunement between subjects, media, and societies; it emerges (or does not) at points of contact: at the threshold or the border and in networks of communication and exchange. More so than simultaneity or contemporaneity, synchronism holds the promise of a collapse of separation, a coming together of disparate objects or states of being. Yet the promise of synchronism is also an aporia, always pregnant with the threat of its own negation or of stagnant homogeneity.

Grown out of our hyper-networked society that is simultaneously polarizing on concepts of nation, citizenship and freedom – on what it means to be in sync – this conference interrogates the promise inhered in synchronization through interdisciplinary panels, workshops and media presentations. Keynote addresses will be delivered by philosopher and art theorist Christoph Cox (Hampshire College) and cultural historian Helge Jordheim (University of Oslo, Norway).

 CA, jessica.ruffin@berkeley.edu