PD Dr. Susanne Lummerding 
Art Theory and Media Studies







Lummerding, Susanne: agency@? Cyber-Diskurse, Subjektkonstituierung und Handlungsfähigkeit im Feld des Politischen, Wien/Köln/Weimar: Böhlau 2005
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Lummerding, Susanne: agency@?
(Discourses of Cyberspace, the Constitution of Subjects, and Agency in the Field of the Political)

To define ‚Cyberspace’ as a field for cultural and socio-political agency means to reintroduce the political in media studies. The author offers new ways of connecting structural psychoanalysis to a theory of the political  explicitly focusing the analysis of visual culture within the context of digital media. Offering fundamental critique of technicist and techno-deterministic rhetorics the analysis takes as its starting point the question of why abundant promises and euphoric expectations still dominate discourses on new developments in media and technology. The argumentation leads to defining a new theoretical approach to the notion of agency not only within the context of contemporary media and technologies. This critical analysis is based on the radical refedinition of supposedly stable categories like sexual difference in order to develop a theoretically and politically crucial definition of a subject of agency.

Reviews >>>


While examining the cyber-hype of the 90s, both its naive euphoria and its apocalyptic phobia-mongering, Susanne Lummerding opens a brand new window on cyberspace and the discourses that surround it. Exposing and resisting the technological determinism that fuels the hype, she develops a much more complex, and politically viable, account of what is novel about new technologies. This exciting book gives us one of our first twenty-first century looks at cyberspace. For this reason alone, it is sure to become a standard text on the subject, but one finds in many other treasures besides. To my mind one of the most valuable is its fascinating rethinking of the subject and sexual difference in light of the challenge cyberspace poses for psychoanalysis in general. Here we are treated to a radical redeployment of Freudian and Lacanian categories.

Joan Copjec, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study and Director of the Center for the study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University at Buffalo

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