Day of Digital Humanities

Today I am participating in the Day of Digital Humanities 2011.

The Day of DH is described as follows:

A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is a community publication project that will bring together digital humanists from around the world to document what they do on one day, March 18th. The goal of the project is to create a web site that weaves together the journals of the participants into a picture that answers the question, “Just what do computing humanists really do?”

So, I will be posting periodically to my own Day of Timothy Welsh blog. There should be plenty going on, not necessarily on my site but on the general feed. For myself, I don’t have any fancy-dhing, just standard fare of writing, markup, cgping, and gaming. Even so, that kind of seems like the point of the projects, to show DH in practice.

I think this will be a fun little experiment. I am a little weary of the constant need to define DH, but this kind of relational definition through explicit practices is about as promising an explanation as one might hope for. I am also excited to see what other people are working on and by the possibility that this kind of public mixer might spark discussion, interaction, and collaboration. If you are interested in following along, twitterers are using hashtag is #dayofdh and there is the general feed of all 250+ participants.

Back to Louisiana

loyola-university-new-orleans I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Loyola University, New Orleans.

The position is in the English department where I will help develop their brand new track in Film and Digital Media. I am excited and honored to join their close-knit and enthusiastic academic community.

So this summer I’ll be headed back to Louisiana, the state where I taught high school for two years before starting my graduate work. When I left I knew somehow I would be back and I couldn’t be happier I was right.

Bioshock on In Media Res

Advertisement for plasmids in BioshockEd Chang and I have a post up on In Media Res discussing Bioshock and posthumanism entitled Would You Kindly?: Bioshock and Posthuman Choice.

In Media Res is one of the innovative projects, like The Googlization of Everything and Gamer Theory, supported by the Institute for the Future of the Book. The premise is to have experts present short close-readings of some piece of media as a way to conduct focused discussions online. They have weekly themes and a new media object every day with a 400-word framing-statement from a “curator.”

The current week’s theme is Posthumanism and Media. We have already been discussing the relationship between human and non-human species and the effect of near-ubiquitous digital media on identity. Ed and I curated Andrew Ryan’s death scene from Bioshock, discussing it as the climax and convergence the game’s play with autonomy and control.

I’ll post an excerpt from the conclusion here, but we and the folks at IMR would love for you to drop by the original post and contribute to the discussion.

In this scene,Bioshock violates the player’s implicit trust that the game will tell him how to inhabit the (virtual) world and then leave him to play. It strips away the illusion of choice—even as Ryan screams, “A man chooses, a slave obeys,” and commands the player-protagonist to kill him — and, in doing so, enacts the “key antimony” of posthumanism, the irony that these technologies can serve both liberation and domination.  Or in other words, “from all work to all play, a deadly game.”