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Mark Sample brings hacking to the Edge! Duke Libraries Digital Scholarship Services Digital Studio Event #samplehack

The Murthy Digital Studio, in conjunction with the Duke PhD Lab present an afternoon with Dr. Mark Sample!

1:00    Workshop: Hacking Texts: A Workshop on Deep Textual Hacks
Mark Sample Workshop

Dr. Mark Sample, Duke Murthy Digital Studio, 2 hours in duration

In this workshop Dr. Mark Sample will lead us in a 'deep hack' exercise. Participants will perform a textual hack by transforming a source text in a surprising and unpredictable way. The hacks will be an act of literary deformance, algorithmic text generation, or automated juxtaposition. Along the way, participants will learn about how complexity, intensity, connectivity, and shareability are involved in 'deep' hacking.

Workshop is based on one of Dr. Sample's course assignments. Link to hack assignment:

Registration Required. Capped at 15 participants:


3:30     Keynote Presentation: Salvage Operations: Deformance, Breakdown, and Repair in the Humanities

Dr. Mark Sample, Edge Workshop Room, All are Welcome to AttendMark Sample Keynote

"Deformance" has gained traction in recent years as an alternative mode of humanistic inquiry. First proposed by Jerome McGann and Lisa Samuels in 1999, deformance is premised upon deliberately misreading a text. In this talk I couple deformance with Nick Montfort's more recent call for “exploratory programming” in order to challenge what counts as scholarship in the 21st century. In particular I argue that digital humanists need to create work that theorizes and thematizes breakdown, maintenance, and disrepair—all states of being we must necessarily grapple with if we truly want to understand the way the world works, and the way it doesn’t.



4:15    Roundtable: Hacking the Humanities: The Role of Deep Hacks, Deformance, Benevolent Spyware, & Creative Computing in Humanities Research

Dr. Mark Sample & Invited Experts Dr. Mark Olson, Libi Rose Striegl, and Aaron Kutnick (contributor bios), Edge Workshop Room, All are Welcome to Attend

Join a panel of artists, researchers, instructors, and computer programmers to discuss the role of 'hacking' in humanities research, teaching, and artistic practice. Panel members will engage the definition of hacking, as well as the term's historical trajectory and its contemporary use, and will present various examples of academic 'hacks'. We'll ask: Is 'hacking' more than a simple buzzword when used in academia? How can we productively co-opt 'hacking' for pedagogical and research purposes? What role does hacking play in the humanities? It promises to be a provocative and engaging conversation!



5:00     Reception: Edge Workshop Room & Lounge


Mark Sample, Associate Professor of Digital Studies at Davidson College:

Professor Sample’s teaching and research focuses on contemporary literature, new media, and videogames. His examination of the representation of torture in videogames appeared in Game Studies, and his critique of the digital humanities’ approach to contemporary literature is a chapter in Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Mark has work in Hacking the Academy, a crowdsourced scholarly book published by the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press. Mark has remixed the entire text of Hacking the Academy as Hacking the Accident. Mark’s most recent project is 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, a collaboratively written book about creative computing and the Commodore 64, which was published by MIT Press in November 2012. For more information, see

Sponsored by: Duke Libraries Digital Scholarship Services and the Franklin Humanities Institute PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge

We'll be live-tweeting @DukeDSS using #samplehack

For more information, see Duke Digital Scholarship services: and follow us on Twitter @DukeDSS

-Amanda Starling Gould



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