Simon Ganahl, Visiting Scholar 2012-2013
Visiting Scholar, 2012-2013
Simon Ganahl is an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow of the Austrian Science Fund in the School of Media Studies at The New School. He studied communications, German language and literature, political science, and philosophy in Vienna, Hamburg, and Zurich. His diploma thesis Ich gegen Babylon: Karl Kraus und die Presse im Fin de Siècle, which received the Bank Austria Research Award, was published by Picus in 2006. Sponsored by an Austrian Academy of Sciences DOC scholarship, he wrote a doctoral dissertation on the mass media references in the literary essay Third Walpurgis Night by Karl Kraus that won the Science Award of the Federal State of Vorarlberg in 2010. Before he moved to New York, Dr. Ganahl was lecturing on media history at the University of Zurich. His writings appeared in Der Standard, profil, Medien & Zeit, Weimarer Beiträge, and IASLonline. He is currently finishing a book titled K. K. und P. A. Eine Typologie, a typological confrontation of the Austrian-Jewish writers Karl Kraus and Peter Altenberg.
In his post-doctoral research stay at The New School, Simon Ganahl is working on a mapping project called Campus Medius. This study aims to investigate mediality as a historical experience. Methodologically, it deploys a dispositif analysis following Michel Foucault, directed at identifying the conditions under which the experiential field of mediality was able to emerge. This analysis addresses three levels, distinct in terms of their perspective but empirically overlapping: an archaeology of media knowledge-forms, a genealogy of media power relations, and a typology of media subjectivation modes. These are investigated through the case of a chronotope of twenty-four hours between May 13 and 14, 1933, in Vienna, which is marked by the “Turks Deliverance Celebrations” held by the Austrian National Socialists and the Home Guards. The 250th anniversary of Vienna’s deliverance from the Turks was oriented from the outset upon processes of mass communication: the rallies were prepared by the party-political press, partially broadcast live on radio, and captured in propaganda films. To create a counter-public sphere, the Social Democrats published programmatic editorials and organized open-air concerts in the municipal tenements of Vienna. While the Burgtheater presented Benito Mussolini’s play Campo di Maggio, the large cinemas were screening Fritz Lang’s sound movie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse, a film banned in Germany. Campus Medius aims to reconstruct the media events of this time-space and to trace them back to the historical dispositifs of which they are the effects. More information: project blog