If you include Benjamin you pretty much have to include the entire Frankfurt school. But I don’t think Postman would have liked that. Which I find strange, because he liked EllulĀ  who was just as “marxist” “materialist” and “anti-Religious” as most of the the aetheist Marxists that Postman seemed to disrespect. I would go so far as to say that Ellul’s intellectual work aimed to point-out that the division between “materialist” and “Christian” is nothing less than a bad infinity.

On Oct 21, 2014 12:58 PM, Bob Logan <logan@physics.utoronto.ca> wrote:
Dear MEAniks – I wanted to bring to your attention this book on Walter Benjamin described in the forwarded email below. I believe Benjamin deserves a spot on the line of fame on the MEA Web site

Sadly his career was cut short by the holocaust (Benjamin committed suicide in PortbouĀ  at the French?Spanish border while attempting to escape from the Nazis) but his memory needs to be honoured.

Here is part of the Wikipedia entry on Benjamin

Walter Bendix Sch?nflies Benjamin (German: [?valt? ?b?njami?n];[1] 15 July 1892 ? 26 September 1940)[2]was a German literary critic, philosopher, social critic, translator, radio broadcaster and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, historical materialism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory and Western Marxism. He is associated with the Frankfurt School.
Among Benjamin’s major works as a literary critic are essays on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Franz Kafka,Karl Kraus, Nikolai Leskov, Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelaire, and translation theory. He also made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust’s ? la recherche du temps perdu.
His turn to Marxism in the 1930s was partly due to the influence of Bertolt Brecht, who developed a theater notable for its Verfremdungseffekt (defamiliarization, alienation). An earlier influence was friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the academic study of the Kabbalah and of Jewish mysticism.
Influenced by the Swiss anthropologist Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815?87), Benjamin coined the term “auratic perception”, denoting the aesthetic faculty by means of which civilization may recover an appreciation of myth.[3] Scholars often cite Benjamin’s most famous works, especially the essays “The Task of the Translator” (1923) and “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936).


Robert K. Logan
Prof. Emeritus – Physics – U. of Toronto
Chief Scientist – sLab at OCAD

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Christian Fuchs <christian.fuchs@uti.at>
> Date: October 21, 2014 5:58:20 AM EDT
> To: discussion-icts-and-society-net@icts-and-society.net
> Subject: [ICTs-and-Society] Walter Benjamin and the media today: A talk by Jaeho Kang (CAMRI Seminar, Oct 29)
> Reply-To: christian.fuchs@uti.at
> Phantasmagoria of Urban Spectacle:
> Walter Benjamin and Media Theory Today
> Jaeho Kang
> Wed, Oct 29, 14:00
> University of Westminster
> Harrow Campus
> Room A7.01
> Registration is possible per email to christian.fuchs@uti.at until Oct 27
> http://www.westminster.ac.uk/camri/research-seminars/phantasmagoria-of-urban-spectacle-walter-benjamin-and-media-theory-today
> Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is one of the most original and perceptive German literary and cultural critics, but his unique insight into the profound impact of the media on modernity has received a good deal less attention.
> Based on his book ‘Walter Benjamin and the Media: The Spectacle of Modernity’ (2014), Jaeho Kang will talk about Benjamin?s critical and provocative writings on the intersection between media and modern experience with particular reference to phantasmagoria, aesthetic public space, and urban spectacle. In so doing, he will clarify Benjamin?s distinctive and enduring contribution to contemporary media studies.
> Before joining SOAS in 2012, Jaeho Kang taught as Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Film at the New School in New York (2005-2012) and was the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow in the Institut f?r Sozialforschung at the University of Frankfurt (2004-2005). He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Cambridge (2003).
> He has tried to bring theoretical contributions of critical theory to the development of East Asian media and cultural studies and published a number of articles on critical theory of media and political communication in English, Korean, German, and Portuguese.
> His research has recently focused more attention on the East Asian context of media culture with particular reference to media spectacle, urban space and screen culture. The book ‘Walter Benjamin and the Media: The Spectacle of Modernity’ (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014) came out in summer 2014.