May 12, 2005

Launching Transliteracies

by Nick Montfort · , 1:29 am

Alan Liu, author of The Laws of Cool, has some incredibly important questions about reading in the digital age, and he’s started a formidable project to begin to answer them. His Transliteracies project begins with a conference at UCSB in June:

“UCSB Conversation Roundtables on Online Reading” Conference

Launching the Transliteracies Project

June 17-18, 2005 / Univ. of California, Santa Barbara / McCune Room (6020 HSSB)

Kevin C. Almeroth * Anne Balsamo * Walter Bender * Bruce Bimber * John Seely Brown * Nicholas Dames * N. Katherine Hayles * Yunte Huang * Adrian Johns * Wolf Kittler * George Legrady * Cynthia Lewis * Alan Liu * Peter Lyman * Jerome J. McGann * Tara McPherson * J. Hillis Miller * John Mohr * Christopher Newfield * Lisa Parks * Carol Braun Pasternack * Christiane Paul * Leah Price * Rita Raley * Ronald E. Rice * Warren Sack * Schoenerwissen/OfCD * Brigitte Steinheider * Matthew Turk * William B. Warner * Curtis Wong

How are people today “reading” in digital, networked environments? For example, what is the relation between reading and browsing, or searching? Or between reading and multimedia? Can innovations in technologies or interfaces increase the productivity, variety, and pleasure of these new kinds of reading? How can the historical diversity of human reading practices help us gauge the robustness of the new digital practices; and, inversely, how can contemporary practices provide new ways to understand the technical, social, and cultural dimensions of historical reading? The Transliteracies 2005 conference (Conversation Roundtables on Online Reading) assembles theorists and practitioners from the humanities, arts, social sciences, computer science, and industry to talk about the fate of reading in the new media age.

Three keynote presentations to mark out the diversity of disciplines and approaches needed to address the problem of online reading (keynoters: Anne Balsamo, Walter Bender, Adrian Johns). Three moderated, plenary conversation roundtables (1. Reading, Past and Present 2. Reading and Media 3. Reading as a Social Practice). A presentation session on “The Art of Online Reading.”

The conference launches the Transliteracies research project, which brings together humanities, social-science, and computer-science researchers to collaborate on technology development related to the future of textual experience. To register for the conference (free), comment on the seed questions for the roundtables, or learn more about the Transliteracies project, see http://transliteracies.english.ucsb.edu.

Contact: Alan Liu, project leader (ayliu at english dot ucsb dot edu); Melissa Stevenson, conference assistant (melissa-s at cox dot net).