2012 Spring Seminar
"Log On to the Humanities: How New Technologies Expand the Humanities and How They Don't"
Each spring the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities gathers together friends and alumni to explore a topic through a humanities-and-arts lens. This year, “Log On to the Humanities: How New Technologies Expand the Humanities and How They Don’t” takes its lead from the institute’s just-completed Year of Digital Humanities. We explored profound shifts in scholarly practice, book publication, partnership across vast distances, changes in the global flow of knowledge, and relations between the humanities and the arts that have been emerging courtesy of the technological revolution. These changes expand the possible horizons of the humanities for a young generation and are here to stay. But they also bring the danger of flash over focus, tweet over narration, attention deficit over close scrutiny, and the aesthetics of absorption.
During this seminar we will:
- Consider how the humanities are being recast to include new technologies for research, new modes of partnership, and new prose forms of the blog and the website while also gaining critical purchase on new events by returning to core values
- Learn how new visual and algorithmic methods have opened up entirely new digital art forms which intersect the humanities with digital artist and 2011 Kidder Resident in the Arts Paul Kaiser
- Tour the current vanguard of “human-machine” writing and place it in the context of the previous centuries of humanistic inquiry with Finn Brunton of U-M’s School of Information
- Examine the history of the book and its current reincarnation as a digital object with Phil Pochoda, former director of University of Michigan Press
- Write, including hands-on writing of blog, tweet, and then more traditional prose, to get into the spirit, and limitations, of new writing
- Explore the U-M Digital Media Commons, one of the finest technical spaces in the country.
On Friday evening, May 4, Spring Seminar registrants and other guests will attend a private gala reception and dinner as we bid farewell to outgoing director Daniel Herwitz and thank him for his dedicated service and leadership at the Institute for the Humanities.
On Saturday, May 5, seminar participants will experience a day of activities and presentations around the theme of the digital humanities.
Friday night, May 4
Rackham Building, 915 E. Washington, fourth floor
5:30 – 6:00 Reception
6:15 – 7:45 Paul Kaiser, “A Digital Artist's Forays into the Humanities”
7:45 – 9:45 Dinner, remarks by Jim Foster, board chair
Saturday, May 5
Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer
8:30 – 9:00 breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 Finn Burton, “The Nonhumanities: Writing with Crowds and Algorithms”
10:30 – 10:45 short break
10:45 – 12:15 Phil Pochoda , “The Media is the Menage: The Digital Futures of Publishing"
12:15 – 2:00 lunch
2:00 – 2:20 bus transportation to North Campus
Digital Media Commons
2281 Bonisteel, North Campus
2:30 – 4:00 tour of Digital Media Commons
4:00 – 5:00 light refreshments
5:00 transportation to 202 South Thayer
Sessions include time for questions and discussion. Faculty and presenters are available both days for formals as well as informal exchange. Excellent meals provide time for more conversation with fellow participants and presenters.