The World in Change: Introduction to Societal Transformation Processes

Semester: WS 18/19
Lecturer: Univ.-Lekt. Dr.phil. Boris Buden

Does the Future Speak a Foreign Language? This course focused on transformations of our linguistic praxis and knowledge production in the context of globalization and rapid technological advance in major fields of economic production, scientific research and communication. It asked how global capitalism rearticulates linguistic hierarchies and hegemonies. In this context we detected and discussed the processes of re-venularization of national languages and various practices of linguistic and cultural translation. Having in mind that the historical ground of the old baroque infrastructure of academic knowledge is crumbling, the course also asked what it means to learn today when the vast spaces of knowledge production have been exposed to the processes of commercialization, privatization and commodification.


  • Buden, Boris, et al. “Cultural translation: An introduction to the problem, and Responses.” Translation Studies 2, no.2 (2009):196-219.
  • Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London, New York: Verso, 2006.

Group Project
Group: Christina Noitzmüller, Samire Gurgorvic, Lisa-M. Weidl
Topic: presenting data related to language / culture / identity visualization of data (informative numbers and percentages)
Aim/Motto: knowledge transfer, make students/audience get a feeling for the information, create a relation/understanding of data due to visualization
Inspiration(s): Is there something as culture? Where is language originated?

The examination had the form of a curatorial project as we organized an exhibition on the topic of the course with performances and artist presentations. The general idea was that we create—curate!—a performative presentation of our own textual, visual and discursive contributions. The goal was to support the idea of learning as a performative act that intentionally aims at the addressees beyond the strictly academic framework.