Media and Culture (801)
Novelist William Gibson, who coined the term “cyberspace,” has for a few years now been saying that “cyberspace is everting”—turning itself inside out and colonizing the physical world. The eversion is a major shift in the collective imagination of the digital network, from a place apart to a part of the world, from a transcendent virtual reality to a ubiquitous and (literally) mundane mixed reality. With the eversion, it’s now taken for granted that digital data is everywhere, all around us in the physical world. The rise of the new digital humanities around 2004-2008 was one significant response to this cultural shift, which was predicated on the rise of mobile platforms, mass digitization, casual gaming, augmented reality, and the geospatial turn (made possible by the turning off of selective availability to satellite data in 2000). In this seminar we’ll examine representations and manifestations of the eversion in works of diverse media, across multiple platforms. We’ll take an eclectic theoretical approach, drawing on media archaeology, cultural studies, literary criticism, and–in particular–digital humanities methods, and we’ll read works by authors and artists and designers such as William Gibson, H. P. Lovecraft, Vernor Vinge, China Miéville, Robin Sloan, Jonathan Safran Foer, Amaranth Borsuk, Franco Moretti, Lisa Gitelman, Matthew Kirschenbaum, N. Katherine Hayles, Matthew Fuller, Ian Bogost, Phil Fish, Eric Zimmerman, Kelly Goeller, Bruce Sterling, and James Bridle, among others. Seminar participants will experiment with online platforms for publication, make frequent informal presentations, go on field trips, and participate in hands-on workshops.
Watch this space for the syllabus when it’s ready.