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The News as a Social Process for Improving Society
Thursday, September 6, 2012 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
What we are now accustomed to call the “knowledge economy” may be the Humanities’ worst enemy as well as their best friend. This presentation will attempt to focus the Humanities on a certain definition of the interpretive activity: while machines can “read” data, only human subjectivities can “interpret” them. This typically human activity of interpretation requires specific conditions (a suspended time, a protected space, a certain indifference to objective truth, an indirect mode of enunciation), which are often at odds with the demands of the capitalist knowledge economy (obsessed with communication, information, accuracy, speed, short-term profit). It is the future of Mankind, which is at stake in the future of the Humanities, insofar as they represent a continuous effort to promote an open culture of interpretation against the increasing pressure of the knowledge economy.
Yves Citton is a professor of French Literature of the 18th Century at the Université de Grenoble-3. He taught for 12 years in the department of French and Italian of the University of Pittsburgh, PA, and has been invited Professor at NYU, Harvard and Sciences Po. He recently published Zazirocratie. Très curieuse introduction à la biopolitique et à la critique de la croissance (Ed. Amsterdam, 2011), L’Avenir des Humanités. économie de la connaissance ou cultures de l’interprétation? (La Découverte, 2010), Mythocratie. Storytelling et imaginaire de gauche (Ed. Amsterdam, 2010), Lire, interpréter, actualiser. Pourquoi les études littéraires? (Ed. Amsterdam, 2007) and L’Envers de la liberté. L’invention d’un imaginaire spinoziste dans la France des Lumières (Ed. Amsterdam, 2006).
Sponsored by Comparative Media Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and MIT France