Stanford–Leuphana Summer Academy (SLSA)

The Stanford-Leuphana Summer Academy addresses the intersection between individual humanities disciplines and studies of media and technology from historical, systematic, and methodological perspectives. As we live in a time when new technologies are emerging at an increasingly rapid pace, the Academy seeks to address vital questions about how different media can drive political and social change, but it also inquires into the assumptions and values that produce technological artifacts.

Media studies and media theory intersect with various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that treat the transmission of information, the formation of social networks, and the embodiment of knowledge in technological artifacts. Therefore the Academy will bring together faculty and students from various branches of the humanities and social sciences to think about how »mediality« permeates these disciplines in distinct ways; we will approach these issues not only from a robustly interdisciplinary vantage but also by way of comparative cultural and historical perspectives. In this way, the Academy will contribute to our understanding of the fundamental ways that forms of media and technological mediation inform disciplinary knowledge across the humanities, as well as the ways that these disciplinary knowledge formations are an essential precondition to any serious thinking about mediality.

Each year, the Summer Academy will convene scholars from the US and Europe, including but not limited to specialists in ›German Media Theory‹, along with select doctoral students and exceptional undergraduates. As a collaboration between Stanford and Leuphana, the Academy is centered around an innovative and productive relationship between two different institutions: one where humanities disciplines intersect with the culture of Silicon Valley and another with historical and scholarly links to German Media Theory and its contemporary epistemological movements, notably with regard to digital cultures. The Summer Academy is an intensive five-day program with time devoted to rigorous discussion of collaborative, interlinking, as well as individual topics, joint readings, and one-on-one consultations among up to 20 student participants and a faculty of 5-8 renowned international scholars. Taking place on an annual basis, and alternating between Stanford and Germany, each year’s Summer Academy focuses on a different overarching topic, with morning and afternoon sessions curated by the current faculty members. A reader with texts and material based on participants’ projects will be compiled and distributed in advance. The Summer Academy is conducted in English.

Steering Committee


Prof. Shane Denson, Film and Media Studies, Department of Art & Art History (
Prof. Marisa Galvez, French and German Studies, Division of Literatures, (


Prof. Timon Beyes, Sociology of Organization and Culture (
Prof. Claus Pias, History and Epistemology of Media (


  • Prof. Dr. Timon Beyes
  • Prof. Dr. Claus Pias