Program in Media and Modernity


Beatriz Colomina, School of Architecture
Thomas Levin, German

Executive Committee
Eduardo Cadava, English
Beatriz Colomina*, School of Architecture
Brigid Doherty, German and Art and Archaeology
Devin Fore, German
Hal Foster, Art and Archaeology
Rubén Gallo, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures
Sylvia Lavin, School of Architecture
Thomas Levin, German
Spyros Papapetros*, School of Architecture
Rachel Price, Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures
Irene V. Small, Art and Archaeology

Clemens Finkelstein

The Program in Media and Modernity promotes the inter-disciplinary study of the unique cultural formations that came to prominence during the last century, with special attention paid to the interplay between culture and technology, centering on architecture, art, film, photography, literature, philosophy, music, history, and media from radio to information technology. It draws on the rich human and material resources that exist at Princeton and provides a focus and forum for research and teaching in the spaces, texts, media, and modernities of the 20th century. The program offers a graduate certificate and collaborative teaching, learning, and research opportunities centered on team-taught seminars and cross-disciplinary colloquia.

Students obtain certification by fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. Participation in one of the program’s team-taught seminars.
  2. Enrollment in at least two additional seminars in 20th-century culture outside the student’s home department.
  3. Participation in a dissertation colloquium led by the Program’s director.

Each year the Program designates a theme or problem that serves as the focus of an interdisciplinary seminar and a major conference. The themes are chosen for their capacity to frame new approaches to research and teaching on 20th-century culture. They engage issues that rarely become a central focus within established fields, yet provide a productive perspective when played back onto these fields. Past themes have been surveillance, sound, little magazines of the 60s and 70s, and the exchange between art and architecture. The Program offers one seminar each year, co-taught by scholars from different fields, which focuses on that year’s theme. Every seminar is oriented toward the production of an event (such as a conference or exhibition), a publication, a web site, or a media project. The Program, often in collaboration with other departments, programs, and centers at Princeton, sponsors a wide range of events on the year’s theme.

An interdisciplinary seminar, MOD 500: Topics in Media and Modernity, is co-taught by program faculty and is devoted to a particular theme in media and modernity. Topics change yearly.

For more information on the program, and on related courses in other departments, see the Programs Coordinator or visit the Media and Modernity website.
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