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FS-50261-10Education Programs: Seminars for Higher Education FacultyRegents of the University of California, IrvineWalter Benjamin's Later Writings: The Arcades Project, Commodity Culture, Historiography10/1/2010 - 9/30/2012$124,703.00Alexander Gelley   Regents of the University of California, IrvineIrvineCA92617-3066USA2010Comparative LiteratureSeminars for Higher Education FacultyEducation Programs12470301247030

A five-week seminar for sixteen college and university teachers to study Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project and its impact on technology, media, and history.

Walter Benjamin's career extended from the end of the First World War to the beginning of the second. In contrast to figures like Freud, Heidegger, or Foucault who enjoyed widespread recognition and influence during their lifetime, Benjamin's significance as a theorist and writer only came after his death. But like them, Benjamin may be characterized, in Foucault's words, as one of the "initiators of discursive practices," authors who "produced not only their own work, but the possibility and the rules of formation of other texts." What is more, Benjamin's reputation has been singularly colored by a legendary 'afterlife.' Admittedly, the 'legend' of a writer should not supersede the interpretation of the works, but neither may it be ignored in evaluating their historical impact. It represents an indispensable index of cultural-political currents at a given moment.