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Title page for ETD etd-08162018-220633

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Koellner, Sarah
URN etd-08162018-220633
Title Reenvisioning Privacy in Contemporary German Literature and Culture
Degree PhD
Department German
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lutz Koepnick Committee Chair
Christoph Zeller Committee Member
Meike Werner Committee Member
Robert Barsky Committee Member
  • Surveillance and Privacy
  • Digital Remembering
  • Angela Richter
  • Edward Snowden
  • Beate Roessler
  • 21st Century
  • The Right to be Forgotten
  • European Data Protection Regulation
  • Juli Zeh
  • Kristo Šagor
  • David Bernet
Date of Defense 2018-07-26
Availability restricted
When Edward Snowden leaked the long-suspected existence of governmental mass surveillance programs in 2013, thousands of protesters marched in Berlin against the dismantling of personal freedom and autonomy under the slogan “Freedom not Fear;” the event drew worldwide attention to Germany’s firm stance on privacy protection as a fundamental right. By focusing on literary, filmic, and theatrical works by Juli Zeh, Kristo Šagor, David Bernet, and Angela Richter, my investigation presents a range of different artistic responses to contemporary mass surveillance. Its central aim is to offer a pathway to think about the future of privacy in a collective, and lastly participatory way. In particular, the narration of privacy becomes a focal point of my analysis itself: How do aesthetics respond to the practice of everyday surveillance? What are recurring representations of the different dimensions of privacy? And how does a potential future of privacy might look like?

Juli Zeh's Corpus Delicti focuses thematically on the repercussions of mass surveillance and takes a strong stance for privacy protection as a fundamental right. David Bernet’s cinematography questions what should have remained hidden and ought to be public during the negotiation process of the General Data Protection Regulation. Kristo Šagor’s work reflects upon strategies to enhance digital maturity in the face of mass surveillance. Through the lens of Angela Richter’s cross-media project Supernerds, my analysis explores how privacy can be envisioned as a participatory concept when it comes to the sharing, storing, and collecting of data through a collaborative engagement with surveillance tools.

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