Erik Born
Fulbright ifk_Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2014 bis 30. June 2015

An Archaeology of Wireless Connectivity: Technologies of Transmission and Reception in Central Europe, 1880–1930


Drawing on insights from the field of media archaeology, my dissertation uses current interest in mobile media, pervasive computing, and networks of things as an incentive for re-examining the emergence of wireless technologies from a longer historical perspective. Modern telecommunications certainly provided unprecedented access to distant times and places, thereby dissolving traditional boundaries and raising questions about omnipresence and simultaneity. However, I argue further that the early discourse of wireless technology and corresponding media practices also linked up with larger debates about the conception of the divine and the construction of a secular public sphere. My project will analyze new possibilities for communication and community offered by wireless technology, from Walter Rathenau’s “Die Resurrection Co.” (1898) to Pere Lhande’s reflections on “Die Radio-Predigt” (1929).


Erik Born is a doctoral candidate in the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is pursuing a concurrent Ph. D. in German Studies and Medieval Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Film & Media Studies.


Publications: Notation: From Scrolls to Scores, in: Forschungsnetzwerk BTWH (ed.), Hans Richters ‘Rhythmus 21.’ Schlüsselfilm der Moderne, Würzburg 2012, S. 115–125; together with Yael Amog (eds.), Neighbors and Neighborhoods: Living Together in the German-Speaking World, Newcastle upon Tyne 2012.

27 April 2015
  • Lecture
Erik Born


Drahtlose Technologien versprechen einen freien Verkehr von großen Datenmengen und Ideen, bei völliger Ortsunabhängigkeit. Mit dem Verschwinden des Kabels entstehen aber neue Fragen um die Verteilung der Ressourcen zwischen Industrie, Militär und Zivilbevölkerung.