March 20, 2017
4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Brooks Hall Commons
Greenscreeners: Locating the Literary History of Word Processing
This event is free and open to the public, but please register to attend the DH@UVA reception to follow at 5:00 pm.
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School.
His most recent book, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (Harvard UP, 2016), examines how the interests and ideals of creative authorship came to coexist with the computer revolution. It balances the stories of individual writers with a consideration of how the seemingly ineffable act of writing is always grounded in particular instruments and media, from quills to keyboards. Along the way, we discover the candidates for the first novel written on a word processor, explore the surprisingly varied reasons why writers of both popular and serious literature adopted the technology, trace the spread of new metaphors and ideas from word processing in fiction and poetry, and consider the fate of literary scholarship and memory in an era when the final remnants of authorship may consist of folders on a hard drive or documents in the cloud.