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History and Theory Reading Group

We meet on alternate Fridays, 11am–12.30pm in the Board Room.

Scholarly Practice, Style and the Digital

What has the arrival of digital and network technologies done to styles of scholarship? This question has been asked of scientific practice by historians of science – by Jon Agar, Bruno Strasser and others. But technological change affects historians just as much as it does scientists, and so we wish to extend the analysis to our own practice. Using the concept of research 'style', we will discuss texts that reflect on scholarly practice, that deal with the arrival and development of digital and networked technologies, and that combine the two. To give structure to the year's reading we will follow the life-cycle of a piece of scholarly work, looking at Research in Michaelmas, Production/Authorship in Lent, and Audience/Users in Easter.

Organised by Boris Jardine (bj210) and Daniel Wilson (dcsw2).

Michaelmas Term: Research

Session 1: 14 October

C. Wright Mills, 'On Intellectual Craftsmanship', in The Sociological Imagination (Penguin, 1959), pp. 215–248

Markus Krajewski, 'Paper as Passion: Niklas Luhmann and His Card Index', in Lisa Gitelman (ed.), 'Raw Data' Is an Oxymoron (MIT Press, 2013), pp. 103–120

Session 2: 28 October

Jon Agar, 'What Difference Did Computers Make?', Social Studies of Science, 36 (2006), pp. 869–907

Bruno J. Strasser, 'The Experimenter's Museum: GenBank, Natural History, and the Moral Economies of Biomedicine', Isis, 102 (2011), pp. 60–96

Session 3: 18 November

Ian Hacking, '"Style" for Historians and Philosophers', Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 23 (1992), pp. 1–20

Session 4: 2 December

Carolyn Steedman, 'After the Archive', Comparative Critical Studies, 8 (2011), pp. 321–340

Alan Liu, 'The State of the Digital Humanities: A Report and a Critique', Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, 11 (2012), pp. 8–41