Back from the Future of Digital Studies

HTLit is back at home from the Future of Digital Studies Conference at the University of Florida. In addition to an impressive list of invited speakers, the organizers were able to bring together several of the field’s most prominent scholars through teleconferencing.

This final session was wrought with technical failure, but as several conference attendees pointed out, if there was a crowd in all of academe that could appreciate and analyze this failure, it was digital humanists. Mark Bernstein tweeted to ask whether this was failure or just “excessively ergodic” interaction. After the session, I had a lovely talk with Brian Greenspan discussing how Rita Raley’s digital disfiguration was like an uncanny bit of art—her face blurred beyond the point of being humanly identified, leaving only the clear image of her eyes floating above the pixelated canvas where her face should be.

Though the video sessions certainly had their difficulties, the malfunctions were more of a launching point for interesting discussion than actual failures. As with the rest of the conference, there were many interesting ideas introduced and discussed.