18.676 Kirschenbaum on forensics and textuality

From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_KCL.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 16:27:42 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 676.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 05:59:48 +0100
         From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mkirschenbaum_at_gmail.com>
         Subject: upcoming talk

For anyone in the vicinity of Philadelphia: I'm speaking at the
History of Material Texts workshop at the University of Pennsylvania
next week (Monday, April 4, at 5:15 in the Penn Humanities Forum).
Here's the abstract for my talk, based on material from my forthcoming
book, _Mechanisms_:

"Every Contact Leaves a Trace": Computers Forensics and Electronic Textuality

"Every contact leaves a trace" was the dictum propagated by Edmond
Locard, police inspector of Lyons and pioneer of modern forensic
science. This talk will explore what the emerging field of computer
forensics--most recently in the news with the capture of the confessed
"BTK killer" using evidence obtained from a floppy disk--has to tell
us about electronic textuality, particularly the now well-turned
question of the materiality of electronic documents.

Legally a computer file is a form of *physical* evidence. I will
suggest that the nature of forensic evidence and the field's applied
techniques ask us to reconsider many chestnuts about electronic
writing--its presumed ephemerality, for example, or the postmodern
concept of the simulacrum--copies without originals. The talk will
illustrate the concept of "forensic readings" of electronic
literature, while also drawing parallels to more traditional forms of
bibliography and textual criticism--considering what these venerable
fields, the most sophisticated branches of media studies I know, have
to offer the digital word.

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Received on Mon Apr 04 2005 - 11:33:02 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Apr 04 2005 - 11:33:03 EDT