ANTÓNIO SOUSA RIBEIROBlood and Printing Ink. Media Violence in Karl Kraus

Thought, Outside
Wed, 19 Jul 2023
19:00 – 20:30

@ Casa das Artes
Rua Ruben A, 210. Porto
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Free admittance

(Photograph: Alexandre Delmar, from the series Accidental Monuments)


From the very beginning, the critique of the press and the analysis of the mechanisms of formation of public opinion as false common sense is inscribed as the main objective in the program of Karl Kraus’ magazine Die Fackel. The experience of the war would radicalize this critique in a way that can be regarded as paradigmatic. Against the background of the drama The Last Days of Mankind and drawing examples from lesser-known texts written about the Balkan War of 1912-1913, this lecture will develop aspects of the blatant topicality of Kraus’ media critique. António Sousa Ribeiro


António Sousa Ribeiro is emeritus professor of German Studies at the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Coimbra. Among other positions, he was, in this Faculty, President of the Scientific Board and Director of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. In his long teaching career, he was, namely, coordinator of the PhD programs “Post-Colonialisms and Global Citizenship”, “Materialities of Literature”, “Languages and Heterodoxies: History, Poetics and Social Practices”, “Modern Cultures and Literatures”, and “Discourses: Culture, History, Society”. He is also a researcher at the UC’s Center for Social Studies, where he has assumed different directive responsibilities. He has published widely on different topics within German Studies (particularly on Karl Kraus and Viennese modernity), Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Translation Studies, and Violence Studies. He has also devoted himself to literary translation (Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Elfriede Jelinek, Franz Kafka, Hermann Broch, Karl Kraus, Thomas Mann, Robert Musil, Friedrich Nietzsche, among others).


“Thought-images” gives the title to this cycle of conferences opening a space in Sismógrafo’s program to think images and through images. The purpose of these conferences is to unite the discursive and the image, to confront them, to recognize the potential of an image, of a fragment, rescuing vital experiences threatened in an uncertain present. This age, a turbulent and disturbing age, an age of pandemic, ecological, financial, political and social crises, these times of “post-truth” and "alternative facts” are "interesting times", to use the expression popularized by Eric Hobsbawm. Interesting times especially for thinking. Thinking is already contributing to a change. This cycle calls for a cooperation between the expressive strength of art and the precision of philosophy. Without a language that embraces images, images can blind us or say nothing. With these conferences, Sismógrafo seeks to take care of what Alexander Kluge calls a “garden of cooperation”, a place that preserves the moments when word and image converge in order to produce something new, a space for discrepancy and cooperation in the face of cacophonies of information, in the face of industrial manipulation and enslavement of feelings. In difficult times, times of divisions and segregations, cooperation presents itself as an antidote to tribalism (Richard Sennett). To open this garden, this space for debate and polyphony in the city, Sismógrafo has invited speakers linked to philosophy, aesthetics, art criticism, fine arts and cinema who, at different times and from different perspectives, will try to present a diagnosis of the present.