Category Archives: theory

The Destructiveness of the Digital Humanities (‘Traditional’ Part II)

We don’t want to save the humanities as they are traditionally constituted

In what purport to be responses or rebuttals to critiques I and others have offered of Digital Humanities (DH), my argument is routinely misrepresented in a fundamental way. I am almost always said to oppose the use of digital technology in the humanities. This happens despite the fact that I and those I have worked […]

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Race, Technology, and the Word “Traditional” in the World-System

Wallerstein, Historical Capitalism (Verso, 1982)

“Traditional” is one of the more interesting words to keep track of in contemporary discourse, particularly when it comes up in discussions of technology. For the most part, it is used as a slur. It is a word used to disparage an object or practice, to compare it to whatever one wants to posit as […]

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“Neoliberalism” Has Two Meanings

neoliberalism

The word “neoliberalism” comes up frequently in discussions on and of digital media and politics. Use of the term is frequently derided by actors across the political spectrum, especially but not only by those at whom the term has been directed. (Nobody wants to be called a neoliberal and everyone always denies it, much as […]

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On the Idea of a Feminist Programming Language

Arielle Schlesinger, a student in Technology and Social Change (at an unnamed school) who is working on a thesis about Feminist Programming Languages, has written a couple of blog posts about the topic at HASTAC: Feminism and Programming Languages and A Feminist & A Programmer (Brian Lennon has a thoughtful reaction, “A Feminist Programming Language,” […]

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Talk: ‘Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom”

lib soc fed

Talk delivered at Clemson University, September 5, 2013 Full paper: Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom’ Abstract Cyberlibertarianism has rapidly become the dominant mode of political thought of our time. Especially in the US, but also around the world, the view that might be summed in the slogan “computerization will set you free” has […]

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‘Communication’ and ‘Critical’

The great communications scholar James Hay has assumed editorship of the journal Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies this year, and I am very grateful to have been invited to contribute a short piece on the core concepts around which the journal is organized. My contributions (provided here gratis, libre, and DRM-free) are about the terms “communication” […]

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Postcolonial Studies, Digital Humanities, and the Politics of Language

world oral literature project

Excerpted from a longer essay in progress. Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam recently started an open thread on DHPoco based around an observation by Martha Nell Smith about the politics of race and gender in the digital humanities. I find these topics distinctly connected to questions about language and the relationship of various humanities fields. […]

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Definitions that Matter (Of ‘Digital Humanities’)

closeness over time

In a recent post, “‘Digital Humanities’: Two Definitions,” I tried to point out an ongoing conflict in the deployment of the term “Digital Humanities.” While my goal was in part to show the practical range in definitions of DH, that was not really my main purpose. A lot of the time, definitions aren’t all that […]

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‘Digital Humanities’: Two Definitions

DH wordle

Those of us working in or close to the field of Digital Humanities know that the very definition of the term has been vexed from its inception–in my opinion, moreso than typical academic fields. I’ll not go into them in depth here, but two of my major concerns about the term have been that (a) […]

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The (Future) Automation of Labor, and Some Notes on ‘Mind,’ ‘Intelligence,’ and the Google Singularity

(Modified version of a comment on Dale Carrico’s Amor Mundi blog, in response to his excellent “Krugman Flirts with Robot Cultism“–also see the slightly different version of Carrico’s post on his blog on the World Future Society site, “Krugman Flirts with Futurism,” both of which respond to Paul Krugman’s “Is Growth Over?” and “Robots and […]

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