This volume presents the preliminary results of the work carried out by the interdisciplinary cultural techniques research lab at the University of Erfurt. Taking up an impulse from media studies, its contributions examine —from a variety of disciplinary perspectives—the interplay between the formative processes of knowledge and action outlined within the conceptual framework of cultural techniques. Case studies in the fields of history, literary (and media) studies, and the history of science reconstruct seemingly fundamental demarcations such as nature and culture, the human and the nonhuman, and materiality and the symbolical order as the result of concrete practices and operations. These studies reveal that particularly basic operations of spatialization form the very conditions that determine emergence within any cultural order. Ranging from manual and philological "paper work" to practices of opening up and closing off spaces and collective techniques of assembly, these case studies replace the grand narratives of cultural history focusing on micrological examinations of specific constellations between human and nonhuman actors.
In a crucial shift within posthumanistic media studies, Bernhard Siegert dissolves the concept of media into a network of operations that reproduce, displace, process, and reflect the distinctions fundamental for a given culture. Cultural Techniques aims to forget our traditional understanding of media so as to redefine the concept through something more fundamental than the empiricist study of a medium’s individual or collective uses or of its cultural semantics or aesthetics. Rather, Siegert seeks to relocate media and culture on a level where the distinctions between object and performance, matter and form, human and nonhuman, sign and channel, the symbolic and the real are still in the process of becoming. The result is to turn ontology into a domain of all that is meant in German by the word Kultur. Cultural techniques comprise not only self-referential symbolic practices like reading, writing, counting, or image-making. The analysis of artifacts as cultural techniques emphasizes their ontological status as “in-betweens,” shifting from firstorder to second-order techniques, from the technical to the artistic, from object to sign, from the natural to the cultural, from the operational to the representational. Cultural Techniques ranges from seafaring, drafting, and eating to the production of the sign-signaldistinction in old and new media, to the reproduction of anthropological difference, to the study of trompe-l’oeils, grids, registers, and doors. Throughout, Siegert addresses fundamental questions of how ontological distinctions can be replaced by chains of operations that process those alleged ontological distinctions within the ontic. Grounding posthumanist theory both historically and technically, this book opens up a crucial dialogue between new German media theory and American postcybernetic discourses.
In medias res -- Understanding media -- Of cetaceans and ships; or, the moorings of our being -- The fire sermon -- Lights in the firmament: sky media I (Chronos) -- The times and the seasons: sky media II (Kairos) -- The face and the book (inscription media) -- God and Google -- Conclusion: the sabbath of meaning -- Appendix: nonsimultaneity in cetacean communication.
Social and cultural anthropology and archaeology are rich subjects with deep connections in the social and physical sciences. Over the past 150 years, the subject matter and different theoretical perspectives have expanded so greatly that no single individual can command all of it. Consequently, both advanced students and professionals may be confronted with theoretical positions and names of theorists with whom they are only partially familiar, if they have heard of them at all. Students, in particular, are likely to turn to the web to find quick background information on theorists and theories. However, most web-based information is inaccurate and/or lacks depth. Students and professionals need a source to provide a quick overview of a particular theory and theorist with just the basics—the "who, what, where, how, and why," if you will. In response, SAGE Reference plans to publish the two-volume Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia. Features & Benefits: Two volumes containing approximately 335 signed entries provide users with the most authoritative and thorough reference resource available on anthropology theory, both in terms of breadth and depth of coverage. To ease navigation between and among related entries, a Reader's Guide groups entries thematically and each entry is followed by Cross-References. In the electronic version, the Reader's Guide combines with the Cross-References and a detailed Index to provide robust search-and-browse capabilities. An appendix with a Chronology of Anthropology Theory allows students to easily chart directions and trends in thought and theory from early times to the present. Suggestions for Further Reading at the end of each entry and a Master Bibliography at the end guide readers to sources for more detailed research and discussion.
Proceedings of a symposium organized by the IAEA and FAO, Vienna, 19-23 August 1985. The symposium examined the usefulness for plant breeding purposes of somaclonal variation, i.e. the occurrence of mutations during in vitro culture with or without the application of ionizing radiation or other mutagens. Another issue was finding ways and means of maintaining the genetic integrity of plants under in vitro conditions, such integrity being of vital importance if in vitro techniques are to be used to propagate virus-free clones of economically important plants, or to preserve germplasm in gene banks. In vitro culture techniques considerably accelerate the plant breeding cycle. This factor and the advantage of using haploids derived from another culture were also discussed at the symposium.