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«The Dream of Perfect Order: Library Stories»

April 30, 2015 Event date: 19.00

On April 30, the Sitterwerk is hosting the literature theorist Martina Süess. Within the framework of the «langen Donnerstag» (long Thursday) the Germanist is giving a presentation on knowledge systems in libraries. «A library’s most complex and important task is making its holdings available,» she writes. «To do so, it has to organize its materials.» However, based on what criteria should this take place? Is it developments in media technology that facilitate and determine new systems of order? Or do library models reflect socio-political ideals or ideals relating to the mentality history, norms and limits? Martina Süess examines such questions within the framework of her research work and will address them in her presentation in the Sitterwerk. Based on literary sources from several centuries, she examines what underlies the dominance of a «natural», a «scientific», or a «dynamic order» in a library.

Martina Süess is a literature theorist and initiator of the interdisciplinary research network Mediologie@Wien. She studied and did research at the University of Basel, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2011–15, she was a research assistant at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses comprise the history of knowledge and imagination, social theory, the media history of the library, and cultural techniques of knowledge transmission. She is currently completing her dissertation on leader fantasies in the late nineteenth century.