The worst regimes in history have been very good at controlling information and eliminating anyone who challenges official messaging or the state’s authority. Journalism, as it evolved over the last few centuries, observes Robert J. Rosenthal, has long been on the frontline of challenging authority. At times journalists were eliminated; at other times their roles were crucial in keeping their societies informed and in holding power accountable. But in the age of the mobile phone, anyone can be a publisher. In this lecture, Rosenthal discusses the shifting role of the media and the duties of journalism in the age of ever-advancing computer technology.
Rosenthal’s talk is informed by his early-career role at the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers, the risks he faced covering conflicts and famine in Africa and the Middle East, and his experience growing a nonprofit digital investigative reporting organization.
Rosenthal will be joined by Stephan Detjen of Deutschlandradio for a conversation.
The ongoing financial crisis, argues historian Moishe Postone, has laid bare the contradictory and shaky character of contemporary capitalism. Yet the essentially inchoate responses to the crisis have dramatically revealed the absence of a robust conceptualization of post-capitalist society and, by implication, of a robust critique of capital itself. One result has been the continued hegemony of neoliberal discourses and policies, Postone argues, and he seeks to fundamentally rethink the core categories of Marx’s critique of political economy. Marx’s mature critique of political economy, as elaborated in the Grundrisse and Kapital, Postone offers, provides the basis for a different critical theory of modernity with contemporary significance.
The Kamasutra, composed in the third century CE, is the world’s most famous textbook of erotic love. For its time, it was astonishingly sophisticated and, even today, there is nothing like it. Yet it is all but ignored as a serious work in its country of origin—sometimes taken as a matter of national shame rather than pride—and in the rest of the world it is a source of amused amazement, inspiring magazine articles that offer "mattress-quaking sex styles" such as "the backstairs boogie" and "the spider web."
University of Chicago Divinity School professor Wendy Doniger, one of the world’s foremost authorities on ancient Indian texts, seeks to restore the Kamasutra to its proper place in the Sanskrit canon. She emphasizes its landmark status in the oevre of India’s secular literature, as a text that emphasizes grooming and etiquette, the study and practice of the arts, and discretion and patience in conducting affairs. Doniger describes how its social and psychological narratives also display surprisingly modern ideas about gender and role-playing, female sexuality, and homosexual desire.
Authors Anthony Marra and Nora Bossong in discussion. Moderated by Pamela Rosenberg, Former Dean of Fellows, American Academy in Berlin
This event takes place at the Literaturhaus Stuttgart.
Tickets (€ 9): firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 1805-70 07 33
In cooperation with the Literaturhaus Stuttgart
Generously supported by Dr. Dirk Ippen, the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung GmbH