David Roh: Versioning: Open Sourcing Literary Production

Please join us for a talk by David Roh

When: January 30, 2015, 1:30

Where: 2435 North Quad

What: Offering a preview of his forthcoming book Illegal Literature (University of Minnesota Press 2015), Roh’s talk draws an explicit connection between open source software programming and literary and cultural development by theorizing a formalist approach to network architecture and creative practices. As more content migrates to electronic platforms, he argues that literary and cultural development may need to move away from the idea of a sanctified original genius and a fixed textual identity towards a software model of “versioning,” which conflicts with the modern iteration of copyright law. Roh argues that the increasingly non-hierarchical mode of intertextual, parodic, and dialogic—oftentimes illegal—creativity necessitates another kind of understanding of how cultural evolution operates, which he calls “disruptive textuality.”

David S. Roh is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and American literature at Old Dominion University. In addition to being the author of Illegal Literature, he is co-editor of Techno-Orientalism (Rutgers University Press, spring 2015), which formalizes a sub-discipline surrounding the conflation of Asian bodies, sites, and nationalities in speculative fiction, film, and media. His work has appeared in Law & Literature and MELUS.

Job Talk Workshop

Please join the Digital Studies Workshop for a professionalization workshop with Prof. Tung-Hui Hu. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the Digital Studies/Social Justice job talks and use them to frame a broader discussion about the process of designing and presenting an effective job talk.

Feel free to attend even if you were not able to make all of the talks. The workshop will take place on Friday, December 5th at 10:30 in the SAC Conference Room (6360 NQ).

Jonathan Sterne: Stretching Time: Quantum Legacies in Analog and Digital Media

Please join the Digital Studies Workshop for a lecture by Jonathan Sterne (McGill University)

When: September 25, 4PM
Where: Hatcher Graduate Library, Room 100
Abstract: This talk examines the lesser-known work and legacy of Dennis Gabor. Gabor was a physicist famous for inventing holography. But he also applied quantum theory to sound, and in so doing offered an important corrective to prevailing interpretations of wave theories of sound derived from Joseph Fourier’s work. To prove his point, Gabor built a device called the “kinematic frequency compressor,” which could time-stretch or pitch-shift audio independently of the other operation, a feat previously considered impossible in the analog domain. After considering the machine, I trace its technical and cultural descendants in advertising, cinema, avant-garde music, and today in the world’s most popular audio software, Ableton Live.

Adrienne Shaw: The Charms of the Magic Circle: Queer Subjects, Queer Theory, and Game Studies

Please join the Digital Environments Workshop and the Department of Communication Studies for a lecture by Adrienne Shaw

When: April 10, 4PM
Where: 2435 NQ

There has been a great deal of attention to gay content in mainstream games and queer content in independently produced games. More than just study the presence of queerness in games, I think the time is ripe to consider more rigorously what queer theory contributes to game studies. Specifically, I will focus on the insights from queer theory that can be used to rethink the methods and discourses of game studies as an area of research. In doing so, I begin with queerness as a method of analysis, as described by Gayle Salamon (2009). Drawing on my past research with marginalized gaming audiences I will discuss the ways in which game studies has tended to rely on descriptive and normalizing research, but argue that queer theory provides a much needed critical lens to many of the issues that are the core of game studies. In particular, drawing on the work of people like Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Gayle Rubin (1993), Michael Warner, Sara Ahmed, and Jack Halberstam, I want to interrogate discourses surrounding who, where, and how games are played. Queer theory, along with its intersections with feminist and postcolonial theory, and critical race, postcolonial theory, disability and trans studies (to name a few), has always been about a politic of inquiry and not just a subject of study. In my presentation I will address how might we use those insights to push game studies, and in turn games, forward?


Jodi A. Byrd: “Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: Indigenous Animus in the Age of Liberation”

When: March 26, 4PM
Where: 3512 Haven Hall
What: A close-reading of Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation examining how indigenous studies intersect with video game studies, especially at the sites of structure, narrative, racial representations, and temporality and the ways that indigeneity disrupts the colonial logics of code, law and sovereignty.

Jodi Byrd

Workshop with merritt kopas

At 10AM on March 14 in NQ 5450 (the Communication Studies conference room), we will be holding a workshop with merritt kopas looking at some specific games made by her and her colleagues.

A short reading/playing list can be found in the Readings section

In addition to the free games listed, merritt has asked that we play one of her commercial games, Consensual Torture Simulator. If you are planning to attend the workshop, please RSVP, and we will send you a copy of the game.

Hope to see you there!