Critical Infrastructure Studies, a special session at MLA 2018

Saturday, 6 January 2018, 1:45-3:00 pm
Hilton — Murray Hill East
(Session Description)
(Session #s583 Twitter feed)

Short Biographies for Session Speakers and Organizers.

Matthew K. Gold is Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He serves as Advisor to the Provost for Digital Initiatives, Director of the CUNY Academic Commons, and Director of the GC Digital Scholarship Lab. He edited Debates in the Digital Humanities (U. Minnesota Press, 2012) and, with Lauren F. Klein (with whom he is co- editor of the Debates in the Digital Humanities book series), recently co-edited Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016. His collaborative digital humanities projects include Manifold Scholarship, Commons In A Box, Looking for Whitman, DH Box, and Social Paper. He is Vice President / President-Elect of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.

Tung-Hui Hu is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan, where he focuses on the history and politics of new media, as well as creative writing (poetry). His study of network culture, A Prehistory of the Cloud (MIT Press, 2015), describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game “Spacewar” as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new “cloudlike” political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. He is currently working on a new book of poems on forests and a scholarly book on lethargy.

Alan Liu is Distinguished Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1994, he created the Voice of the Shuttle, a Web site for humanities research that provided scholarly infrastructure for humanists in the mid-to-late 1990s. He is the author of Wordsworth: The Sense of History (Stanford UP, 1989); The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (U. Chicago Press, 2004); and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (U. Chicago Press, 2008). Recent essays include “Hacking the Voice of the Shuttle: The Growth and Death of a Boundary Object” (2016), “N + 1: A Plea for Cross-Domain Data in the Digital Humanities” (2016), “The Big Bang of Online Reading” (2014), “The Meaning of the Digital Humanities” (2013), and “Where is Cultural Criticism in the Digital Humanities?” (2012). Projects he has directed include the Transliteracies Project on online reading and the RoSE (Research-oriented Social Environment) software project.  Liu is founder and co-leader of the advocacy initiative. He is leading the “WhatEvery1Says” project on public discourse about the humanities. His new book, Friending the Past: The Sense of History in the Digital Age, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.

Shannon Mattern is Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities (2006), Deep Mapping the Media City (2015), and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (forthcoming 2017), all published by University of Minnesota Press. In addition to writing dozens of articles and book chapters, she also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape, and she sometimes collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions.

Tara McPherson is Professor of Cinema + Media Studies in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Director of the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Studies.  She is a core faculty member of the Media Arts + Practice (MAP) program, USC’s innovative practice-based Ph.D., and also an affiliated faculty member in the American Studies and Ethnicity Department.  She is author of the award-winning Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke UP, 2003); co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke UP, 2003); and author of Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, The Arts + the Humanities (University of California Press, 2014), and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected (MIT Press, 2008).  Her monograph about her lab’s work and research process, Feminist in a Software Lab, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in late 2017.  She is the Founding Editor of the Vectors journal.

James Smithies is Director of King’s Digital Lab and Deputy Director of eResearch at King’s College London. He was previously Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and has worked in the government and commercial IT sectors. His book The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) positions the digital humanities in their cultural, intellectual, critical, and technological contexts. His practical experiments in the digital humanities are grounded in post-phenomenology.

Program arranged by the forum TC Digital Humanities