History as a Communication Problem
John Durham Peters, Chair of Communication Studies and Professor of International Studies at the University of Iowa
Russia, as the old saying goes, has an unpredictable past. One of the most dynamically things in the past two centuries has been the past. This talk explores how the basic problems faced by historians–the historical record, its transmission, and interpretation–are problems of communication. More specifically, it argues that changing technologies of communication have altered what counts as evidence, and thus have altered not only how we speak to one another, but the relationship between the living and the dead, present and past.
John Durham Peters is A. Craig Baird Professor and Department Chair of Communication Studies, and Professor of International Studies, at the University of Iowa. He is the author of two books, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (1999) and Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition (2005). He is the author of over fifty journal articles and book chapters on the philosophy of communication, intellectual history of communication research, democratic theory, and cultural history of media.
Co-presented with the Sydney Ideas Open. John Durham Peters's visit is supported by the Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney, and the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association. Download the talk