Ph.D. Curriculum

JUNE SESSION. June 5th – June 26th, 2015

Media and Communication / Digital Design - June First Year
Media and Communication / Digital Design - June Second Year
Media and Communication / Architecture & Urbanism - June First Year

JULY SESSION. July 5th – 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 2nd – August 23rd, 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 5th – June 26th, 2015

Media & Communication / Digital Design: June First Year // June 5th – June 26th, 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.

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.

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.

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: Research Methods. (1 credit)
Seminar description coming soon.


Media & Communication / Digital Design: June Second Year // June 5th – June 26th, 2015.

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

Metahaven / Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden: TBD. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

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

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

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

Francois Roche: ZEITGEIST. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

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


Media & Communication / Architecture & Urbanism: June First Year // June 5th – June 26th, 2015.

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

Neil Leach: RETHINKING ARCHITECTURE. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

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

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

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

Francois Roche: ZEITGEIST. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.

Mandatory Seminars and Workshops:

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


JULY SESSION. July 5th – July 25th, 2015

Media & Communication: July First Year, First Group // July 5th – 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.

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).

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.

Alessandro de Francesco: DELEUZE. (3 credits)
Seminar description coming soon.


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


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'.


The July Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


Media & Communication: July First Year, Second Group // July 5th – 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.

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

Eduardo Cadava: 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.


The July Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


Media & Communication: July Second Year // July 5th – 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.


The July Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


AUGUST SESSION. August 2nd – August 23rd, 2015.

Media & Communication: August First Year, First Group // August 2nd – August 23rd, 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.


The August Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


Media & Communication: August First Year, Second Group // August 2nd – August 23rd, 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: HEIDEGGER’S BEING AND TIME. (3 credits)
An exploration of Martin Heidegger’s magnum opus Being and Time and the key philosophical issues and concepts raised by the project that Heidegger called fundamental ontology, including Heidegger’s relation to Husserl and his critical adoption of phenomenological method; his critique of traditional epistemology; his account of the nature of the world and the relation of persons to world; his critique of the Cartesian understanding of world and space; his account of intersubjectivity and his critique of modernity; the key concept of ‘thrown projection’ and an explanation of the various ‘existentials’ (state-of-mind, understanding, and discourse); his concepts of thrownness, falling, and inauthenticity; his account of moods and anxiety as the basic attunement of the human being; the meaning of care as the being of the human being; his critique of the realism-vs.-idealism debate; his concept of truth and his critique of the traditional concept of truth; and analyses of being-toward-death, conscience, authenticity, and historicity.

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.


The August Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


Media & Communication: August Second Year, First Group // August 2nd – August 23rd, 2015.

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

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

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.


The August Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.


Media & Communication: August Second Year, Second Group // August 2nd – August 23rd, 2015.

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".

Rebecca Comay: 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: HABIT: GRACE OR ADDICTION? (3 credits)
The concept of habit plays a major role in the history of Western philosophy. This seminar offers a representative overview of the ways in which habit has been mobilized in each of the major periods of Western philosophy. The history of habit will be traced from its advent in ancient Greece up to the current dialogue between philosophy and neuroscience.

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.


The August Session includes an one-day field trip to Venice and a visit to La Biennale di Venezia - 56th International Art Exhibition.