Please join us for a talk by Matthew Kirschenbaum on his forthcoming book project, which was recently profiled in the New York Times: The Muses of Insert, Delete and Execute. Matt’s visit is made possible by the Office of the Provost at the Graduate Center and is being made in connection with the Digital Praxis Seminar.
This event will take place on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 from 4:15-5:30pm at the Graduate Center, CUNY in C204/205 (Concourse Level). Please join us!
Track Changes: The Literary History of Word Processing
Mark Twain famously prepared the manuscript for Life on the Mississippi (1883) with his new Remington typewriter, the first literary text ever submitted to a publisher in typewritten form. Today we recognize that the typewriter changed the history and material culture of authorship. But when did writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relationship to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter—faster, easier to use—or was it something more? And what will be the fate of today’s “manuscripts,” which take the form of electronic files in folders on hard drives, instead of papers in hard copy? This talk, drawn from the speaker’s forthcoming book on the subject, will provide some answers, and also address questions related to the challenges of conducting research at the intersection of literary and technological history.
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, an applied thinktank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), and the 16th annual Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association (MLA). In 2010 he co-authored (with Richard Ovenden and Gabriela Redwine) Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections, a report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources and recognized with a commendation from the Society of American Archivists.Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media; his work has received coverage in the Atlantic, Slate, New York Times, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His current book project is entitled Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, and is under contract to Harvard University Press. He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. See http://www.mkirschenbaum.net for more.