Brown Bag Lecture
"Velocity/Growth: Essays and Experiments in the Digital Humanities"


Oct
04
2011

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  • Host Department: Institute for the Humanities
  • Date: 10/04/2011
  • Time: 12:30PM - 2:00PM

  • Location: 202 S. Thayer St, Room 1022, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Description: Using this Brown Bag talk as an opportunity to open some conversations and try out some ideas—by way of an introduction to Brunton’s work, and a starting point for collaborations—he will present five brief essays and short experiments (the words are deeply related). These will add up to an argument for an approach to the digital humanities as a twenty-first century intellectual project, and outline his methods for getting to grips with it.

    These five essays, plus or minus one, will be: "Information Overload: Moscow, 1959,” "Hopeless Diamond (On Robot-Readability)," "Crowdware: Oklahoma and /b/, 2009," "Meganarratives: Paris, 1911," and "The Victim Cloud: On Spam." All draw on Brunton’s recent work, and on projects now in progress. Themes covered will include the economics of spam, distributed punishment networks, fan fiction, dead programming languages, emergent games, web typography, the design of fighter jets, and the revival of the essay as a preeminent form for digital humanist analysis.

    Finn Brunton is assistant professor of digital environments at the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He was trained principally in the history of science, receiving a PhD from the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen, and an MA from the European Graduate School in Switzerland. He has worked extensively on issues of privacy and security online as a postdoctoral researcher with Helen Nissenbaum at NYU. He now focuses on technological adaptation and misuse, writing on topics including digital anonymity and encrypted currency, and the history of experimental and obsolete media. He is currently preparing a book, The Spew: A History of Spam, for MIT's Infrastructures series.