Sven Birkerts and his new book,

Essayist Birkerts Next To Present at Hartwick’s Visiting Writers Series

March 29, 2016

Essayist and cultural critic Sven Birkerts will speak on “Finding Our Way in the Landscape of Signals,” drawn from his new book, Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age. He will speak on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in the Celebration Room, Shineman Chapel House, on the Hartwick College campus. Admission is free and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing after the reading.

Birkerts is concerned with the ways that our digital world is modifying our minds and lives, and the ways our ancient, inherited forms of attention are changing in a world of proliferating demands from our technological devices. What he calls our increasing “digital fluency” is reprogramming our cognition, as we are increasingly involved in a data field “wound around us like a weightless and transparent wrap.”

Birkerts is a prolific and award-winning literary essayist and memoirist. He has published 16 books, including The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (1994); My Sky Blue Trades (2002); The Art of Time in Memoir (2008); The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry (1989); American Energies: Essays on Fiction (1992); and others. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and many other journals. Birkerts is also the Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College, and editor of Agni literary magazine at Boston University.

He has taught at Harvard University, Mt. Holyoke College, and Emerson College. A Fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Birkerts has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation Award, a Danforth Distinguished Teaching Award at Harvard University, and other awards for his criticism and essays.

The reading is presented under the auspices of the Department of English and Theatre Arts and the Visiting Writers Series at Hartwick College.

For more information on the reading, contact Dr. Robert Bensen, professor of English, at or (607) 431-4902.