Centre for Ethics and Humanism
Centrum voor Ethiek en Humanisme

Doctoral Seminar ‘Virtual Media’ w/ guest speaker David Zweig

May 30th, 2012 | Posted by Yoni Van Den Eede in Events

Time: July 5th, 2012 – 5-7 pm
Location: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Building C – fifth floor, Room 5C402 (“Professorenzaal”)
Entrance: free – registration is mandatory

Guest speaker:

David Zweig – ‘Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome: How (Over)exposure to Media Affects Self-Perception’

David Zweig is a writer, lecturer and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. He lectures about the intersection of media, technology and psychology at numerous universities and academic conferences around the world. As a freelance journalist, his pieces appear in a variety of publications, including, most recently, The Atlantic. In his debut novel, Swimming in the Sun (2009), he laid the foundation for a theory about the effects of media entitled ‘Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome.’

Fiction Depersonalization Syndrome (FDS) explains how living in our highly mediated environment affects our self-awareness. Depersonalization is a dissociative condition where one literally views oneself from afar, as if in a movie or in a dream. FDS argues that living in our ‘observational reality’ today is leading to an increase in prevalence and intensity of depersonalization, and more generally, a collective increase in self-consciousness.


In this one-time session of the research seminar ‘Virtual Media,’ David Zweig will present for 45 minutes, followed by an extensive discussion.

The seminar is open for all people interested. Entrance is free, but registration is required, through Prof. Dr. Karl Verstrynge or Prof. Dr. Joke Bauwens.

Organization: Prof. Dr. K. Verstrynge & Prof. Dr. J. Bauwens, in collaboration with Dr. Y. Van Den Eede. Hosted by the VUB Research Center ETHU (www.ethu.be).