Greece, Kavala

Technologies of the Self: Exploring Identity from Renaissance to the Age of Social Media

online course
when 2 August 2020 - 9 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee USD 450

How is the presentation and understanding of the human self impacted by technological innovation and change? This seminar will explore a variety of answers to this question by examining the relation between technology and the self over time. We will begin in the Renaissance and consider the moveable type and what it meant to present a changing self in a publicly circulating textual medium in the 1500s. We will then take up other instances in which shifts in technology occasioned new ways of representing and conceiving of the interior lives of people. Among our considerations will be the railroad and telephone, as well as cultural moments—like the 1920s—in which a sense of the "modern" became defined. We will conclude by reflecting on the digital age, and the circulation of—and interaction between—electronic selves in social media. Suggested readings will include selections from the essayist Michel de Montaigne, the novelists Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens, cultural theorist and mathematician Brian Rotman, and Safiya Umoja Noble, Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry.

Course leader

Douglas Trevor, University of Michigan

Target group

From high school seniors to college professors

Fee info

USD 450: It includes attendance of lectures. hotel, two meals/day, a full day excursion


Yes. See our Registration page.