• Summer School as School 2018
Course 9: Dumb Languages by Boris Buden

Course 9: Dumb Languages: Ignorant Knowledges
Course by Boris Buden

July 29 – August 2, 2018

Course description

“Dumb Languages: Ignorant Knowledges” focuses on transformations of our linguistic praxis and knowledge production in the context of globalisation and rapid technological advance in major fields of economic production, scientific research and communication. It will ask how global capitalism rearticulates linguistic hierarchies and hegemonies and in this context discuss the processes of re-vernacularisation 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 production is crumbling, the workshop will also ask what it means to learn now, when the vast spaces of knowledge production have been exposed to the processes of commercialisation, privatisation and overall commodification.


Boris Buden is a writer, cultural critic and translator. He studied philosophy in Zagreb and received his Ph.D. in Cultural Theory from Humboldt University, Berlin. In the 1990s he was founder and editor of the Zagreb-based magazine and publishing house Arkzin. His essays and articles cover topics related to philosophy, politics, culture and art criticism. Among his Croatian translations are some of the most important works of Sigmund Freud. He has co-edited several books and is author of Der Schacht von Babel: Ist Kultur übersetzbar? [The Pit of Babel: Is Culture Translatable?] (2004); Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs [Translation: Promises of a Concept] (2008) (with Stefan Nowotny); Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus [Zone of Transition: On the End of Post-communism] (2009); among others. Buden is a permanent fellow at the European Institute of Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna. He lives and works in Berlin.