I have struggled for the past week or so trying to figure out how to best approach 'traversing digital boundaries.' You see, I think I tend to find myself in the awkward situation where my personal interests seem much more enmeshed with 'digital boundaries' than my 'academic interests' try as I may to suture and consolidate them.
Take for example a normal day in my life: I am currently a sporadic blogger (http://ablognextdoor.blogspot.com), an addicted facebooker and an avid iPhone user (never have I felt any electronic device be so much of an appendage than Apple's touch-screen phone!) yet my academic interests don't explicitly cross-sect with any conversations regarding about 'digital boundaries' (though one has to wonder how I'd be able to write up papers about PIXAR, surrealist films and post-modern drama that evokes Hollywood without such easily accessible digital archives/services such as youtube.com and Netflix Watch Now?). That said, upon closer inspection I don't know how I would write a paper without being able to online search on JSTOR or MLA, without being able to double check a quote on Google books or double check a film credit on imdb.com. Trivial as these things may seem (especially to the generation on my heels) the level of easy access to certain information makes our job as academics endlessly faster, but it also demands a keener attention to the ways in which these new technologies affect our reading practices. What does it mean to import those practices we are now so seamlessly using in our personal 'web space' into the classroom and research desk? I'm sure these questions will be addressed much more eloquently and persuasively argued at the conference and I'm looking forward to hearing what the presenters and attendees have to say.
HASTAC III. ?Traversing Digital Boundaries.?
This blog is part of a series of blogs leading up to the third annual HASTAC conference, which will be held April 19-21, 2009, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the theme ?Traversing Digital Boundaries.? As the theme suggests, the gathering will focus on the exploration of new territory and on work that crosses, manipulates, or simply ignores traditional boundaries. The conference program will include presentations of research, performances, technology demonstrations, posters, panel discussions, and ?virtual? participation via telepresence technology. For more information, visit http://www.chass.uiuc.edu/Index/Entries/2009/1/26_HASTAC_III.html or contact HASTAC3@ncsa.uiuc.edu.