Ph.D. Curriculum

JUNE SESSION. June 6th – June 27th, 2015

Media and Communication / Digital Design - June First Year
Media and Communication / Digital Design - June Second Year

JULY SESSION. July 4th – July 25th, 2015

Media and Communication - July First Year First Group
Media and Communication - July First Year Second Group
Media and Communication - July Second Year

AUGUST SESSION. August 1st – August 22nd, 2015

Media and Communication- August First Year First Group
Media and Communication - August First Year Second Group
Media and Communication - August Second Year First Group
Media and Communication - August Second Year Second Group

Note: Please be advised that all seminars, colloquia and workshops of EGS are conducted at the Steinmatte Campus in Saas-Fee, Wallis, Switzerland. (How to get to Saas-Fee by air, rail, and road.)

Final confirmation of syllabi for each course will be published shortly. A good rule of thumb for preparation towards each seminar is to become familiar with the Professor's most recent works, as well as obtaining an overview of their body of work.

JUNE SESSION. June 6th – June 27th, 2015

Media & Communication / Digital Design: June First Year // June 6th – June 27th, 2015.

Neil Leach: A THEORY OF DIGITAL DESIGN. (3 credits)
Presents a theoretical framework for understanding and evaluating a new way sensibility towards design that is sweeping through not only architecture and urbanism but all of the creative industries.

John Frazer: EVOLUTIONARY DIGITAL DESIGN. (3 credits)
Explores conceptual generic ideas encoded in digital form to create a population of genetic code scripts that are then developed in an environment and subject to analysis and selection in a cyclical manner.

Achim Menges: MACHINE AND MATERIAL COMPUTATION. (3 credits)
Focuses on the latent computational convergence of digital procedures and physical processes, with a particular focus on its ramifications on design thinking and practice.

Patrik Schumacher: PARAMETRISCISM & AUTOPOIESIS. (3 credits)
Presents an outline of the theory of architectural autopoiesis, a unified theory of architecture that contextualizes the discipline's most fundamental concepts, methods and values historically with respect to architecture's societal function.

Benjamin Bratton: PLANETARY-SCALE COMPUTATION. (3 credits)
Develops a theory and program for design in the age of planetary-scale computation, emphasizing the forces that drive the possibility of form, and locates design within a complex and contradictory global computational economy.

Alisa Andrasek: OPEN SYNTHESIS AND DESIGN. (3 credits)
Explores the necessity for resilient bounding of global-local, generic-particular relations and transference, a navigational system for which increasingly accelerated scientific discoveries are taken not as obstacles but as opportunities for further synthesis.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

TBD: TBD. (1 credit)
Seminar description coming soon.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

TBD: TBD. (1 credit)
Seminar description coming soon.


Media & Communication / Digital Design: June Second Year // June 6th – June 27th, 2015.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

TBD: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

TBD: TBD. (1 credit)
Seminar description coming soon.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

TBD: TBD. (1 credit)
Seminar description coming soon.


JULY SESSION. July 4th – July 25th, 2015

Media & Communication: July First Year, First Group // July 4th – July 25th, 2015.

Georges Didi-Huberman: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Samuel Weber: MEDIA AND THE UNCANNY. (3 credits)
Explores the philosophical concept of the uncanny as it bears on the media by reading Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, and Jacques Derrida.

Alessandro de Francesco: LANGUAGE ART. (3 credits)
This seminar investigates the use of written and spoken language in different kinds of artistic practices mainly from the second half of the 20th century up to contemporary art.

Sylvere Lotringer: JEAN BAUDRILLARD. (3 credits)
A tribute to the EGS faculty member who recently passed away: An examination of Jean Baudrillard's philosophical legacy and his impact on the critique of contemporary culture.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: MEDIA CULTURE & ARTIFICIAL LIFE. (3 credits)
Explores media culture as post-technological event (Ereignis), possibilities for the art of living authentically (Geviert), and ethical dasein beyond metaphysics (Gelassenheit).

Slavoj Žižek: HEGEL: NECESSITY AND CONTINGENCY. (3 credits)
A provocative reading of Hegel which connects his so-called idealism to contemporary philosophical, psychoanalytical and aesthetic discussion, and the emphasis on Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Quantum Theory, and the contingency as Hegel's driving motive.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: RESEARCH METHODS. (1 credit workshop for First Year students)
Introduction to basic research styles such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics, deconstruction in preparation for EGS dissertation projects.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: FOUNDATION IN MEDIA PHILOSOPHY. (1 credit workshop)
Introduces and explores the critical differences as well as productive blending of Communication Theory and Continental Philosophy which culminates in 'Media Philosophy'.


Media & Communication: July First Year, Second Group // July 4th – July 25th, 2015.

Wim Wenders: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Terrence Malick: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Chris Kraus: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Volker Schlöndorff: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Bruno Latour & Armin Linke (not yet confirmed): TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Mike Figgis: ADVANCED INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING. (3 credits)
Focuses on the idea of narrative and non-linear storytelling, Blending the creative and the practical; Covering the practical aspects of directing, producing and writing films.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses the outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: RESEARCH FOR DISSERTATION. (1 credit workshop)
Discussing projects for Ph.D. dissertations in order to find connections to philosophical works and locate directions for theoretical research.


Media & Communication: July Second Year // July 4th – July 25th, 2015.

Thomas Zummer: MICHEL FOUCAULT. (3 credits)
A critical reading of the philosopher Michel Foucault who changed our understanding of modernity with his inquiries into madness, punishment, sexuality and the technologies of the self.

Mathieu Potte-Bonneville: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Elie During: TRANSPARENCY: IDEOLOGY, METAPHYSICS, AESTHETICS. (3 credits)
Focuses on persistent ideological and critical discourses that surround notions such as transparency, opacity, mediation, ambiguity.

Philippe Beck: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Geert Lovink: POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF THE WEB 2.0. (3 credits)
Provides an overview from blogs, search, online video, Wikipedia and social media to activist strategies like Wikileaks.

Alenka Zupancic: NIETZSCHE AND LACAN. (3 credits)
The courses will focus on two main questions, both in relation to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and to Freudo-Lacanian psychoanalysis. Through discussion and readings this course will examine focus around two themes, Negativity and Real.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses the outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: RESEARCH FOR DISSERTATION. (1 credit workshop)
Discussing projects for Ph.D. dissertations in order to find connections to philosophical works and locate directions for theoretical research.


AUGUST SESSION. August 1st – August 22nd, 2015

Media & Communication: August First Year, First Group // August 1st – August 22nd, 2015.

Daniel Birnbaum: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Michael Schmidt and DJ Spooky: MUSIC PHILOSOPHY & SOUND. (3 credits)
Discusses the philosophy of music of Arthur Schopenhauer, Roland Barthes and Theodor W. Adorno and explores the clashes and resonances between multiple styles and cultural approaches to music—from classical composition to rap, hip-hop and avant-garde sound collage.

Avital Ronell: FINITUDE IN PHILOSOPHY, LITERATURE AND ART. (3 credits)
Explores the finitude of language and the singularity of the ethical event in a culture of absence, disappearance, and escape in relation to memory, fiction, and the human.

Anne Dufourmantelle: SEX AND PHILOSOPHY. (3 credits)
How to understand hospitality in our mad age - a Derridean reading of social practices by a pithy psychoanalyst.

Siegfried Zielinski: AUDIOVISUAL HISTORY AND TECHNOCULTURE. (3 credits)
Surveys the history of mediations through which ideas and visual representation have become a material force. It enables an archeology of hearing and seeing by technical means.

Michael Hardt: THE POLITICS OF THE COMMON. (3 credits)
Revisiting the political sphere and its underlying philosophies and evaluating the potential for a perceptual change that includes the Internet.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: RESEARCH METHODS. (1 credit workshop)
Introduction to basic research styles such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics, deconstruction in preparation for EGS dissertation projects.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: FOUNDATION IN MEDIA PHILOSOPHY. (1 credit workshop)
Introduces and explores the critical differences as well as productive blending of Communication Theory and Continental Philosophy which culminates in 'Media Philosophy'.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Mark Daniel Cohen: ACADEMIC WRITING. (1 credit workshop)
With focus on the development of productive thesis statements and the organization and composition of coherent argumentation in order to prepare students to begin their thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.


Media & Communication: August First Year, Second Group // August 1st – August 22nd, 2015.

Giorgio Agamben: HOMO SACER. (3 credits)
A questioning of how radical subjectivity and the coming community can contribute to a paradigm of human existence.

Christopher Fynsk: HEIDEGGER: PHILOSOPHY AND ART. (3 credits)
Explores the future potential of Martin Heidegger, one of Europe's most influential 20th century philosophers and addresses divergent practices of thought and art in post-Heideggerian thinkers.

Simon Critchley: TRAGEDY'S PHILOSOPHY. (3 credits)
This seminar will investigate tragedy as a philosophical view that challenges the authority of philosophy.

Laurence Rickels with artist Michaela Melliau: HAUNTED THOUGHT AND ART. (3 credits)
A critical analysis of the accidental structure and underworld happening in literature, performance and video art. An invited artist demonstrates the transformative processes involved. Martha Rosler, Sue de Beer, Diana Thater, Robert Bramkamp and Caspar Stracke have participated previously.

Boris Groys: HISTORY AFTER THE END OF HISTORICISM. (3 credits)
Discusses current debates about the possibility or impossibility of the radical change in the context of the post-historical (or, rather, post-historicist) economic and socio-political order.

Luc Tuymans: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: RESEARCH METHODS. (1 credit workshop)
Introduction to basic research styles such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, dialectics, deconstruction in preparation for EGS dissertation projects.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: FOUNDATION IN MEDIA PHILOSOPHY. (1 credit workshop)
Introduces and explores the critical differences as well as productive blending of Communication Theory and Continental Philosophy which culminates in 'Media Philosophy'.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Mark Daniel Cohen: ACADEMIC WRITING. (1 credit workshop)
With focus on the development of productive thesis statements and the organization and composition of coherent argumentation in order to prepare students to begin their thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.


Media & Communication: August Second Year, First Group // August 1st – August 22nd, 2015.

Alain Badiou: PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, ART. (3 credits)
In defense of systematic philosophy and in a critical dialogue with Gilles Deleuze basic issues such as the ethics of fidelity, truth, politics, and art are rediscovered, proclaiming a manifesto for philosophy.

Bracha Ettinger: THE MATRIXIAL SUBREAL. (3 credits)
The seminar will explore artistic practice (painting, video) and psychoanalytic theory as rethinking ethics, space, Eros, trust and the human subject, in a feminist dialogue with Freud ("Beyond the Pleasure Principle", Death drive, Life drive), Lyotard, the late Lacan, (Anxiety, Encore, the "lamella"); enabling a dimension of "subreal" co-emergence and Eros of "borderlinking-borderspacing" which underlies trauma and phantasm, memory and representation; articulating a post-Lacanian subject informed by matrixial gaze, transubjectivity and "carriance".

Pierre Alferi: ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL FILM. (3 credits)
Theory and practice of experimental filmmaking will be explored – an exercise in cinematic poetry. Participants are encouraged to show and discuss their own work.

Hubertus von Amelunxen: PHILOSOPHY OF PHOTOGRAPHY & FILM. (3 credits)
Explores issues of meaning and representation, the interface of photography, video, and film, and the terror of the body in digital space (with emphasis on Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin and Vilem Flusser).

Martin Hielscher and Nicholson Baker: LITERATURE AS COMMUNICATION. (3 credits)
Introduces Literature as model of communication and stimulates creative writing and philosophical thinking. Includes a workshop with a guest author such as Marcel Beyer, Durs Grünbein, Shelley Jackson, Michel Houellebecq, Julian Barnes, Nicholson Baker, Colum McCann, Nuruddin Farah, Ilija Trojanow, or Jeffrey Eugenides.

Wolfgang Schirmacher: SCHOPENHAUER – LIVING DISASTER. (3 credits)
A timely reading of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and his radical turn from spirit to body which influenced Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Frankfurt School but also composers such as Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss as well as writers such as Samuel Beckett, André Gide and Jorge Luis Borges.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Mark Daniel Cohen: ACADEMIC WRITING. (1 credit workshop)
With focus on the development of productive thesis statements and the organization and composition of coherent argumentation in order to prepare students to begin their thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.


Media & Communication: August Second Year, Second Group // August 1st – August 22nd, 2015.

Judith Balso with poet: POETRY AND PHILOSOPHY. (3 credits)
The complex relationship between poetry and philosophy and the notion of poetry as a thought will be explored in a cordial dialogue with an internationally recognized poet. Jacques Roubaud, Yang Lian, Jan Zwicky, Michel Deguy, Alessandro de Francesco.

Barbara Hammer: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

François Noudelmann: AFFINITIES IN PHILOSOPHY, ARTS, AND SCIENCE. (3 credits)
A transdisciplinary search for hidden patterns with revealing and concealing powers.

Catherine Malabou: ANIMATION/REANIMATION: NEW STARTS IN ETERNAL RECURRENCE. (3 credits)
The seminar discusses the eternal recurrence and transformation of life, opening to questions of memory, repetition, erasure and change.

Geoffrey Bennington: POLITICS IN DECONSTRUCTION. (3 credits)
Through a close textual analysis in the spirit of deconstruction this course moves beyond the static page towards a political reading of the power of deconstruction.

Elissa Marder: PSYCHOANALYSIS, MEDIA, DECONSTRUCTION. (3 credits)
Explores the limits of the human in different media in antiquity, modernity and postmodernity, examining questions relating to technology and birth, photography and psychoanalysis, and the radical forms that poetry takes in a prosaic world.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

Wolfgang Schirmacher: PH.D. TUTORIAL. (1 credit)
Discusses outlines for possible Ph.D. thesis projects.

Elective Seminars and Workshops:

Mark Daniel Cohen: ACADEMIC WRITING. (1 credit workshop)
With focus on the development of productive thesis statements and the organization and composition of coherent argumentation in order to prepare students to begin their thesis and Ph.D. dissertations.