“This is Not a Book: Long Forms of Attention in the Digital Age”

The Material Cultures of the Book Working Group at UC Riverside presents:

 “This is Not a Book: Long Forms of Attention in the Digital Age”

Professor Alan Liu (UC Santa Barbara)

Tuesday June 3 2014 [NEW DATE]

11:00-12:30 in INTS 1113 at UC Riverside

A common response to an electronic book or other digital media is that, while it may be better or worse than a book, “this is not a book.”  But digital media has the uncanny effect of making us realize that physical books themselves were never truly books–if by “book” we mean a long form of attention designed for the permanent, standard, and authoritative communication of human thought or experience.  This talk outlines methods for discovering and tracking socially repeatable and valued “long forms of attention” whether in books or other constellations of materials, in the past or the digital present.  The talk concludes with a look at the RoSE (Research-oriented Social Environment) created by a team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, directed by Liu.

Alan Liu is Professor of English at UC Santa Barbara and a leading scholar in digital humanities. He is the author of The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (Chicago, 2004), Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (Chicago, 2008), and Wordsworth: The Sense of History (Stanford, 1989). He has developed several significant digital humanities projects: the University of California multi-campus research group Transliteracies Project (2005-10), the NEH-funded RoSE (Research-oriented Social Environment), and the ground-breaking Voice of the Shuttle Humanities gateway.

Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Critical Digital Humanities group. The Material Cultures of the Book Working Group is a graduate student-run Andrew W. Mellon Workshop in the Humanities in the Center for Ideas and Society at UC Riverside (bookhistory.ucr.edu).

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