MEDIT Seminar: Cultural Science

Speaker: John Hartley (Curtin University)
Time: November 7, 10.15
Place: N-315  

Cultural science is a systematic response to the challenges facing humanities-based scholarship in the era of global, digital, corporate-media systems. It is one more attempt to synthesise arts/science knowledge, investigating culture from an evolutionary and complexity perspective. Culture makes groups; groups make knowledge; knowledge makes innovation – and thus cultural science is the systematic study of knowledge systems and the dynamics of change within the semiosphere and biosphere. It tackles big-picture issues (e.g. causation in culture; the limits of individual agency; how to model relations among technology, knowledge and meaning; what culture is for) and at the same time addresses pressing problems at micro, meso and macro scale, as global-digital culture enters the Anthropocene epoch. Along the way it discovers new ways of thinking about literacy (knowledge clubs), sci-fi (Humans vs. Westworld), and stories (How We Use Stories and Why That Matters), and answers a curious question: what do the monuments at Göbekli Tepe, the medieval Catholic Church, Zombies, and Greta Thunberg have in common?

About the speaker

John Hartley is a Professor of Cultural Science and the previous Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) at Curtin University in Western Australia, and Professor of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. He has published over twenty books about communication, journalism, media and cultural studies, many of which have been translated into other languages.

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