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Politics of the Digital: Poetry, Technology, and the University

January 31, 2014 - February 1, 2014  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


This two-day event includes a poetry reading and an interdisciplinary symposium featuring graduate students, faculty, and a keynote from Johanna Drucker.

Friday, January 31, 2014: Poetry reading at 6 p.m. at the Felix Kulpa Gallery

Featuring Johanna Drucker with Eireene Nealand, Margaret Rhee, and Tsering Wangmo

Saturday, February 1, 2014: Interdisciplinary symposium at Humanities 1, room 210

Panel One: Textual and Visual Technologies—Pre-Histories of a Digital Era

Panel Two: Digital Practice and Database Aesthetics

Panel Three: Neoliberalism and the Digital Future

Keynote from Johanna Drucker: Towards a New Humanism

The activities associated with the term “digital humanities” have gained much attention recently in academic and mainstream venues. But have core values of humanism been discounted as a result? Do the techniques of analytic processing or other engagements with large data displace or devalue those of more traditional method and even, perhaps, traffic in the worst kind of concessions to administered culture? Might these digital approaches be at odds with the tenets of humanistic inquiry? What are the ways out of a binaristic opposition between a retro-oriented, possibly conservative, defense of “the humanities” and a techno-digital approach that seems to some to dehumanize cultural materials by treating them as “data”? The answer might be in recovering the methods of humanism, rather than just its objects. Engagement with the materiality of texts and artifacts crosses many disciplinary lines—from traditional critical studies, bibliography, and law to current studies of media archaeology, new materialism, and digital interpretation. This talk addresses ways in which the cultural authority of the humanities might be formulated as a new humanism whose methods and values extend traditional interpretative work while taking up some of the potential offered by data-driven and algorithm-based approaches to the study of human culture.

Reception at the Kresge Provost House

More info and full agenda available at


January 31, 2014
February 1, 2014


Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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