Author Archive | Will Fenton


Abstract: MoMiPa

Beneath the veneer of educational entertainment, nineteenth century panoramas performed significant ideological work, authorizing hegemonic histories, promoting nationalism, and conditioning spectators to be mass audience members. While grand theaters and late-nineteenth century resurgence have ensured ongoing scholarly attention to circular panoramas, the very attributes that account for proliferation—low cost of production, mobility, and mass appeal—have […]

To Be Seen and Remarked On

I read Mark Sample’s “Unseen and Unremarked On” with great interest—if only for utterly selfish reasons. I was pleased to see belated attention to DeLillo, whose vocal luddism belies a sustained engagement with the effects of various information technologies on the porous boundaries of art, politics, and self. I also found his constructions of alternative […]

The Filter Test

I believe it’s my turn to play the part of the skeptic, but before I do so, permit me to share the fruits of reconnaissance. In an itty-bitty footnote in Open Access, Peter Suber cites Clay Shirky’s twenty-minute talk at the Web 2.0 Expo (9/19/08), “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure.” As the title […]

Electoral Maps: Red, Blue, and Gray

Without the havens of work and school, I spent too much of last week prowling political websites and going gray over the election. Considering how much time I spent starting at the American geography in red and blue, it should prove little surprise that Monmonier’s chapter on Maps and Political Propaganda sparked my interest. Early […]

The Digital Archive as Process

In exploring the archives related to this week’s readings, I was struck less by the experience of using them, than by the materials they captured. Certainly, I don’t mean to underplay the differences in using a traditional archive and something like the 9/11 Digital Archive. When I was doing work at UPenn last summer, I […]

Baby Steps, Octopus

I was struck by the abundance of ambitious plans for reforming graduate study of the humanities. Whether it included inculcating critical vocationalism (Jay and Graff), expanding curricula (Grafton and Grossman), charting “a third way” to alt-ac careers (Scheinfeldt), or democratizing the Humanities PhD (Basu), I was heartened by both the scope and novelty of solutions. […]

Planned Obsolescence: Terrific. Now What?

In Planned Obsolescence, Kathleen Fitzpatrick poses some bold goals. Discussing authorship, she provides these dictums: “We need to think less about completed products and more about texts-in-process; less about individual ownership and more about collaboration; less about originality and more about remix; less about ownership and more about sharing” (83). When it comes to the […]

On Liberal Arts Campuses and Comp-Rhet Classes

My university—Fordham University—does not (yet) allocate the resources to DH that CUNY does. We do not yet have a Digital Humanities Center, and our DH community is just beginning to coalesce around a Digital Humanities Initiative (faculty) and GSDH (graduate student) group. Given these structural limitations, I read “Why Should Liberal Arts Campuses Do Digital […]

Tool Review: GoodReader for iPad (3.17.0)

GoodReader, available for both iPad and iPhone ($5), allows users to open and edit images, documents, PDF files on their iOS device. (I installed and tested the app on my iPad 2). For an academic audience, GoodReader is a vast improvement over the default preview and proves more dexterous than Apple’s pricey Pages app ($10) […]

Towards a DH Definition: Where Meeting Spaces meet Situations

Given that I’m still mapping the terrain of DH—a task I may not achieve given its shifting topography—it would be premature for me to propose my own definition. Whatever contribution I might add has, certainly, been explored in an existing essay, book, or dare I say Twitter feed. That said, perhaps there are advantages in […]

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