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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).

Lent Term: Production/Authorship

Session 1: 27 January

Friedrich Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900, trans. Michael Metteer and Chris Cullen (Stanford University Press, 1987), pp. 177–205 ('Nietzsche: Incipit Tragoedia')

Lev Manovich, 'An Archeology of a Computer Screen' (1995)

Edward Tufte, 'The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint' (2003)

Session 2: 10 February

Frans van Lunteren, 'Clocks to Computers: A Machine-Based "Big Picture" of the History of Modern Science', Isis 107 (2016), pp. 763–776

Donna J. Haraway, Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors of Organicism in Twentieth-Century Developmental Biology (Yale University Press), Chapter 1, 'Paradigm and Metaphor'

Session 3: 24 February

N. Katherine Hayles, 'Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers', October 66 (1993), pp. 69–91

N. Katherine Hayles, 'Print Is Flat, Code Is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis', Poetics Today 25 (2004), pp. 67–90

Session 4: 10 March

Donna J. Haraway, Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan®_Meets_OncoMouse™ (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), selected sections TBA