Special issue of Culture Machine, vol. 12;
     edited by Federica Frabetti (Oxford Brookes University)

     The emerging field of the Digital Humanities can broadly be
     understood as embracing all those scholarly activities in the
     humanities that involve writing about digital media and technology as
     well as being engaged in processes of digital media production and
     practice (e.g. developing new media theory, creating interactive
     electronic literature, building online databases and wikis). Perhaps
     most notably, in what some are describing as a ‘computational turn’,
     it has seen techniques and methodologies drawn from Computer Science
     – image processing, data visualisation, network analysis – being used
     increasingly to produce new ways of understanding and approaching
     humanities texts.

     Yet just as interesting as what Computer Science has to offer the
     humanities, surely, is the question of what the humanities have to
     offer Computer Science; and, beyond that, what the humanities
     themselves can bring to the understanding of the digital. Do the
     humanities really need to draw so heavily on Computer Science to
     develop their sense of what the Digital Humanities might be? Already
     in 1990 Mark Poster was arguing that ‘the relation to the computer
     remains one of misrecognition’ in the field of Computer Science, with
     the computer occupying ‘the position of the imaginary’ and being
     ‘inscribed with transcendent status’. If so, this has significant
     implications for any so-called ‘computational turn’ in the
     humanities. For on this basis Computer Science does not seem all that
     well-equipped to understand even itself and its own founding object,
     concepts and concerns, let alone help with those of the humanities.

     In this special issue of Culture Machine we are therefore interested
     in investigating something that may initially appear to be a paradox:
     to what extent is it possible to envisage Digital Humanities that go
     beyond the disciplinary objects, affiliations, assumptions and
     methodological practices of computing and Computer Science?

     At the same time the humanities are not without blindspots and
     elements of misrecognition of their own. Take the idea of the human.
     For all the radical interrogation of this concept over the last 100
     years or so, not least in relation to technology, doesn’t the mode of
     research production in the humanities remain very much tied to that
     of the individualized, human author? (Isn’t this evident in different
     ways even in the work of such technology-conscious anti-humanist
     thinkers as Deleuze, Guattari, Kittler, Latour, Negri, Ranciere and

     So what are the implications and possibilities of ‘the digital beyond
     computing’ for the humanities and for some of the humanities’ own
     central or founding concepts, too? The human, and with it the
     human-ities; but also the subject, the author, the scholar, writing,
     the text, the book, the discipline, the university...

     What would THAT kind of (reconfigured) Digital Humanities look like?

     We welcome papers that address the above questions and that suggest a
     new, somewhat different take on the relationship between the
     humanities and the digital.

     Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2010

     Please submit your contributions by email to Federica Frabetti:

     All contributions will be peer-reviewed.

     Established in 1999, CULTURE MACHINE is
     a fully refereed, open-access journal of cultural studies and
     cultural theory. It has published work by established figures such as
     Mark Amerika, Alain Badiou, Simon Critchley, Jacques Derrida, Henry
     Giroux, Mark Hansen, N. Katherine Hayles, Ernesto Laclau, J. Hillis
     Miller, Bernard Stiegler, Cathryn Vasseleu and Samuel Weber, but it
     is also open to publications by up-and-coming writers, from a variety
     of geopolitical locations.


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