Featured Speakers

220px-Robert_BringhurstRobert Bringhurst will give a keynote lecture on Sunday June 11th titled “The Mind-Book Problem.”

Abstract: I used to hear a lot, in philosophical circles, about the mind-brain problem and its cognate, the mind-body problem. More recently, in pedagogical circles, I hear about an issue which I’ve come to call the mind-book problem. It is, briefly, the failure of so many human minds, in a hyperliterate society, to find any deep, lasting, and fruitful engagement with the book. All these problems (mind-brain, mind-body, and mind-book) seem to me related to one another. They are also related to something larger: the mind-world problem, familiar to philosophers and medical practitioners in all times and places. There are many who feel that the mind-world problem has reached epidemic proportions today, especially in the humanities. This may have something to do with the prevalence of the mind-book problem there as well. The book has been praised as the ark of civilization, the measure of the human heart, and the voice of God incarnate. It has also, of course, been damned as a form of dalliance or the invention of the Devil. More recently, it has been patronized as an archaic cultural relic in need of replacement or technological upgrading. I will not deny that upgrading is possible, and on several fronts desirable. But a book without a mind – like a mindless brain, a mindless body, or a mindless civilization – is a problem for which a technological upgrade may not be the answer. I will explore the mind-book problem from this and other angles.

Bringhurst is a Canadian poet, typographer and author. Bringhurst has translated substantial works from Haida and Navajo, as well as classical Greek and Arabic. He is the author of The Elements of Typographic Style – a reference book of typefaces, glyphs, and the visual and geometric arrangement of type. Bringhurst was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in June 2013.


Julia Flanders will give a joint SHARP-DHSI institute lecture on Friday June 9th titled “Cultures of Reception: Readership and Discontinuity in the History of Women’s Writing.”

Abstract: The work of textual recovery and republication for which the Women Writers Project is well known is to all appearances an effort to rediscover a textual and artifactual history: a history of books, once in circulation, now lodged invisibly in remote libraries and inaccessible to scholars and students, but brought back into the light by digital remediation. But the more significant and difficult rediscovery has to do with readership. In republishing these texts we are also seeking to reinsert them into a cultural landscape that has forgotten how to read them. And in republishing them digitally we are also reopening the question of what it means to read. Our challenge is to develop mechanisms of circulation that avoid reproducing the original conditions of invisibility and disappearance in which women’s writing circulated. This presentation will examine the WWP’s work on readership and reception in the context of digital technologies of reading and textual circulation.

Flanders is a professor of the practice in English and the director of the Digital Scholarship Group in the Northeastern University Library. She also directs the Women Writers Project and serves as editor in chief of Digital Humanities Quarterly, an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal of digital humanities. Her apprenticeship in digital humanities began at the Women Writers Project in the early 1990s and continued with work on the development of digital humanities organizations such as the Text Encoding Initiative and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. She has served as chair of the TEI Consortium and as President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities. She has also taught a wide range of workshops on text encoding and served as a consultant and advisor on numerous digital humanities projects. Her research interests focus on data modeling, textual scholarship, humanities data curation, and the politics of digital scholarly work. She is the co-editor, with Neil Fraistat, of the Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, and is currently co-editing, with Fotis Jannidis, a book on data modeling in digital humanities. For more information on Julia Flanders, please navigate to juliaflanders.wordpress.com.

lgLisa Gitelman will give a keynote lecture on Saturday June 10th titled “Emoji Dick, Prequels and Sequels.”

Abstract: This is the second in a sequence of talks that takes a 2010 “translation” of Moby Dick into emoji as an opportunity to consider the conditions of possibility that might delimit books and literature in the contemporary moment. A massive white codex and extended work of crowd-sorcery, Emoji Dick points toward the varieties of reading and–especially–of not reading that characterize our ever more digitally mediated and data-described world. Here I proceed by locating Emoji Dick alongside a key group of precursors and successors.

Gitelman is Professor of Media and English and Chair of the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. Gitelman is a media historian whose research concerns American book history, techniques of inscription, and the new media of yesterday and today. She is particularly concerned with tracing the patterns according to which new media b
ecome meaningful within and against the contexts of older media. Her most recent book is entitled Paper Knowledge: Toward A Media History of Documents (Duke University Press 2014). She has an edited collection, “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron (MIT 2013). Previous works include Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (MIT Press 2006). She holds a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University and is a former editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University, and has also taught at Harvard University and at The Catholic University of America. For more information on Lisa Gitelman please navigate to lisagitelman.org.

Brewster_Kahle_2009Brewster Kahle will give a joint SHARP-DHSI institute lecture on Monday June 12th titled “A Conversation with Brewster Kahle, moderated by Jo-Ann Roberts (CBC).”

Kahle is a passionate advocate for public Internet access and a successful entrepreneur. Kahle has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing Universal Access to All Knowledge. He is the founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found the company Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker. In 1989, Kahle created the Internet’s first publishing system called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), later selling the company to AOL. In 1996, Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, which helps catalog the Web, selling it to Amazon.com in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 20 petabytes of data – the books, Web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage, working with more than 400 library and university partners to create a digital library, accessible to all.