new books

i have picked up some new (or rather new) books when traveling.

Digital Critical Studies: A Reader
Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker

This is from the first chapter:

From the spectacular emergence of new media innovations such as blogging, podcasting, flashmobs, mashups, and RSS feeds to video-sharing websites (MySpace, YouTube), Wikipedia, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), the how and what we know of contemporary society, culture and politics is continuously being creatively transformed by strikingly original developments in technologies of digital communication. To the challenge of understanding the implications of technological innovations, Critical Digital Studies responds by developing a new method of critical digital studies: its scope – full-spectrum knowledge of the digital future; its method – media archaeology; its practice – crossing boundaries; and its goal – bending the digital future in the direction of creative uncertainty.

I am going to look at this framing critically in the article I am working on right now (The landscape of digital humanities). There are chapters by a number of important thinkers: Katherine Hayles, Lev Manovich, Eugene Thacker, Donna Haraway and Sara Diamond.

Two other books:

Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World
Naomi S. Baron

Baron’s book has received some good reviews and looks interesting. It is a topic that sometimes is represented in too much of a popular fashion in book format. Without having had time to look at it properly it seems fairly solid and useful.

Ethnography as Commentary: Writing from the Virtual Archive
Johannes Fabian

Fabian’s book deal with the practice of maintaining archives and field notes in ethnography, and how electronically archived documents can shift the emphasis from the monograph to commentary. Partly based on a meeting with the healer Kahenga Mukonkwa. Review of his talk/book by Maximilian Forte here (from an anthropology perspective).