Thomas Y. Levin

Associate Professor
Princeton University
German

Thomas Y. Levin, a New York-based media theorist and curator, is a professor at Princeton University where he teaches media theory, cultural theory, intellectual history, and philosophy in the German Department.  He is an associated faculty member of the Department of Comparative Literature, the School of Architecture, the Center for Digital Humanities and the Program in Media & Modernity.

Levin has translated and/or edited three books on the work of the sociologist, cultural critic and pioneering film theorist Siegfried Kracauer, including the critical edition of The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays (Harvard UP, 1995). His more recent publications include a co-edited volume of Walter Benjamin’s media theoretical writings The Work of Art in the Age of its technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media (Harvard University Press, 2008).

As a curator, Levin was part of the collective responsible for the first exhibition on the post-war French avant-garde collective known as the Situationist International at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), ICA London and the ICA Boston in 1989.  He also conceived and curated the exhibition CTRL [SPACE], Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, the first major international exhibition exploring the cultural politics of surveillance, which opened at the ZKM (Center for Art and Media Technology) in Karlsruhe in October 2001.

Levin is currently directing a large-scale research and archival project on the media-archaeology of voice mail funded by a multi-year grant from the Einstein Foundation in Berlin. He spent the 2015-2016 academic year on a sabbatical leave in Rio de Janeiro where he completed a small study on the history of gramophonic epistolary in Brazil.