Tag Archives: metaphor

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The Eversion and the Emergence of the Digital Humanities

I don’t mean to give Steve Jones short shrift — across the board, I am a huge fan of his careful scholarship which compellingly combines media archaeology, literary study, history, and theory. Forgive this brief and belated response to his Introduction.

Using metaphors from preeminent science fiction author William Gibson, Steven Jones aligns a transition from the cyberspace conception of the internet popularized in Gibson’s 1984 Neuromancer to Gibson’s new conception, eversion, with the shift from isolated computing to social networking. He also describes the disciplinary shifts within and from humanities computing and within the new movements of “the digital humanities.” Jones locates the primary transition in the years 2004-2008, when platforms such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and the rise of GPS and GIS, made the internet more social and more mobile.

I guess my provocations for the class are of disciplinarity and materiality.

  1. How do those in the social sciences respond to Jones’s literary version of DH? Does the impact of the metaphor shift pertain to questions outside of cultural imagination and in scientific inquiry?
  2. What is your mixed reality? Where do you personally find the materiality of the internet most palpable (in stashes of leftover cables from bygone electronics? in the feel of your phone? in the visible branding of restaurants or local businesses with facebook “like”s? in the new object sensitive scanners that don’t break bindings as they digitize?)j
  3. Are you convinced that the digital humanities is the humanities everted (turned inside out)?