DH2015, Sydney

I’ve just returned from the Global Digital Humanities conference (dh2015) in Sydney, Australia, where I presented a paper on The Priest and the Punched Cards. I shared a session with Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell, who’ve also conducted research on the early history of humanities computing, including Father Roberto Busa. The discussion afterwards was lively–and very useful for me as I put the finishing touches on the book. The conference as a whole was richly populated with excellent papers, panel discussions, and posters on current work in the field, a good deal of it community-based, outward-facing, politically and socially engaged. (Keynotes by Intel’s Genevieve Bell, on robots, and Tim Sheratt, “Unremembering the Forgotten,” stood out in particular.) Geoffrey Rockwell’s conference notes, which summarize sessions he attended, can be found here.



Poster from Fordham talk (April 2015)

Steven Jones talk on Roberto  Busa (Poster)

Fordham University, April 23, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 6:00 PM, I’ll be giving a talk on my book in progress, “The Priest and the Punched-Card Machines: Father Roberto Busa, SJ, and the Emergence of Humanities Computing,” at Fordham University (Father Busa’s home-base In New York for the early years of his work with IBM). Location: Duane 140 (Theology Conference Room), Fordham University, Rose Hill campus. The event is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar on Digital Technology and Scholarly Communications, the American Studies Program, and the Department of Theology.


CUNY DHI Roundtable, March 27, 2015

I’m happy to be taking part in a roundtable tomorrow, March 27, 2015, Room Rm. 4406, Graduate Center, CUNY, 4-6 PM, a session titled: “Books Matter: Circulating Digital and Printed Texts,” sponsored by the CUNY Digital Humanities Initiative.


New book: CIRCSE, Milan

This past week I’ve been visiting CIRCSE research center at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, digging into the fairly recently accessioned archive of Father Roberto Busa, SJ, often said to be the founder of humanities computing. I’m working on a book on the first decade of his research in historical context, 1949-1959, tentatively titled The Priest and the Punched-Card Machines. My hosts here, especially Dr. Marco Passarotti, have been very kind and helpful, and I’ve handled and examined a fascinating collection of letters and other documents, as well as punched cards, magnetic-tape reels, floppy disks, slides, and fragile glass transparencies, among other artifacts and texts. Today I visited the location of Fr. Busa’s  first humanities computing labs in Gallarate, or locations for, as he called it, “Literary Data Analysis.”


Columbia Studio @ Butler, Feb. 25, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, at 2:00 PM, I’ll be presenting the book in progress at Columbia University’s Studio @ Butler. That’s room 208b in Butler Library. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP.



USF Humanities Institute, Jan. 20, 2015

It’s true, in the new year I’ll be giving a talk at the University of South Florida’s Humanities Institute on The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, and including a section on my new project on the emergence of humanities computing in the mid twentieth century.  Free and open to the public: January 20, 2015, 6:00 PM.