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Literate Technologies

Class at Faculty of Arts |



David Vichnar, PhD (

Office Hours: By e-mail appointment

Compulsory PhD Course; Optional M.A. Course – Programme in Critical & Cultural Theory

Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (Thu 14.10-15.40, Room 34)


It is the aim of this seminar to introduce students from a broad range of backgrounds, and with diverse interests within the philologies, to a set of theoretical and practical issues that accompany any deeper study of language, literature and literacy, and which bear significance beyond the academic domain of literary studies. Through a selective reading of literary and philosophical works, a number of key questions will be addressed: what is language; how does language happen; what makes language possible; how does language define the contours of thought; what is intelligence; is such a thing as artificial intelligence possible; can machines read; what is writing; what are the technological conditions of literacy? The purpose of the seminar is not to assume a philosophical approach to these questions, but to explore how different writers address the question of literacy—within the domain of literature and literary studies, and in accord with changing historical/ technological conditions, in particular since the advent of print media.


For Syllabus and grading information please see the course Moodle page:

Study programmes