I am currently in Palo Alto and have spent a couple of days at Stanford meeting with people and engaging in different kinds of conversations. Really exciting. I have had several meetings with people from the Communication Studies department, where there is a range of really good people. I had a great conversation with Fred Turner yesterday – there is quite a bit of overlap between our current projects. Also I visited the School of Education yesterday and talked with Sam Wineburg, whose work and person I find quite interesting.
Last week I spent a day at University of California at Los Angeles and did a talk on cyberinfrastructure for the humanities. Johanna Drucker, whose work is truly excellent and thought-provoking, was my host. There was quite a good turnout for the talk and good discussion. It was also quite useful for me to talk to Christine Borgman about cyberinfrastructural matters, and I have realized I need to frame my argument stronger in the paper in the sense of presenting a call for humanities cyberinfrastructure with a different set of epistemic scope (than the discourse of science and engineering based cyberinfrastructure). It would be quite interesting with critical work on the notion of ditributedness in relation to cyberinfrastructure, and also a typology of different kinds of distributed work (ranging from twitter to optocomputers). I was delighted to meet Peter Lunenfeld – we have been in touch before, but I have never met him in person – and some of his students in the Design | Media Arts program.
The UC Santa Barbara talk went well. Here the topic was the Landscape of the Digital Humanities, and it was quite useful to get to talk about this work and to engage in discussion with faculty and students. I had been invited by Alan Liu and Rita Raley, and it was great see them again and to talk about the digital humanities. I also quite enjoyed talking to a number of Ph.D. students who attended the talk. There was quite a bit of energy and I was quite impressed with the community and dialogue. Among other things, t reminded me of making sure to include a “young researcher” perspective in my work. We are also really happy that we will have a postdoctoral fellow from UCSB from January 2010.
I also got the catch up with the good work going on at the University of California Humanities Research Institute in Irvine.
And today I bought two new books: delete. The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (Second Life interview with the author here) and Notes on the Undergound: An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination by Rosalind Williams (new edition, Cabinet interview here).