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Theory of the Hashtag

Theory of the Hashtag

Theory of the Hashtag, © NYU

10.10.2019 - Article

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation between Andreas Bernard and Nicholas Mirzoeff about Bernard’s book “Theory of the Hashtag”, digital activism, and the role the hashtag continues to play in shaping and transforming discursive culture. 

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Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation between Andreas Bernard, Professor for Cultural Studies at the Leuphana University and currently DAAD Visiting Scholar at Deutsches Haus at NYU, and Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University about Bernard’s book “Theory of the Hashtag” (Polity, 2019), digital activism, and the role the hashtag continues to play in shaping and transforming discursive culture. 

This is a short book about the most prominent sign of our times.  The simple # sign is now used so widely that it is easy to overlook the fundamental effects it has had in the structuring of public debate.  With its help, statements are bundled together and discourse is organized and amplified around common buzzwords.  This method enables us to navigate more easily the huge volume of online utterances, but it also increases the risk of leveling statements and extinguishing difference, as exemplified by the #MeToo debate.

Andreas Bernard traces the young and spectacular career of the humble hashtag.  He follows the history of the # sign, documenting its use by Twitter and Instagram, and then examines the most prominent contemporary domains of the sign in socio-political activism and in marketing – two apparently very different fields which are united in their passion for the hashtag. Theory of the Hashtag shines a bright light on a small but pervasive feature of our contemporary digital culture and shows how it is surreptitiously shaping the public sphere.

Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to deutscheshaus.rsvp@nyu.edu. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you.

“Theory of the Hashtag: A Conversation between Andreas Bernard and Nicholas Mirzoeff” is a DAAD-sponsored event.

Location and time:

Deutsches Haus at NYU

42 Washington Mews, New York City

Friday October11 2019, 6:00 pm

For more information and to register visit: Deutsches Haus at NYU

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