Rhetoric and Remix
Rhetoric and Critical Digital Humanities Scholarship: Re-thinking Interactions with Digital Scholarship in terms of Agency, Rhetorical Address, and Reception
What are the rhetorical assumptions made by “digital media scholarship” or the “digital humanities” in both the design and delivery of digital research? How are distinct rhetorical modes or histories entangled in, or excluded from, the interface and interaction designs developed for digital research projects and their presentation?
This year the Critical Digital Humanities research group begins with this fundamental question and our projects will work toward a consideration of the various impacts and affects of digital media.
For the 2012 – 2013 academic year, CDH will focus on what digital media’s particular language or discourse does, and how that language acts in relation to questions of agency. We will explore the rhetoric surrounding the digital humanities and the deployment of that rhetoric in the affective and commonplace experiences that drive digital media practices. CDH events will examine the primary tropes employed in digital media rhetoric as well as their subtexts, and how these factors allow us to think through digital media as an embodied practice.
One of the most common tropes of digital media is its claim of power – the power to democratize the social sphere, resulting in the increased agency of the user. However, in many ways, the construction and circulation of agency in digital media seems to serve the drives of neoliberalism rather than the individual.
Remix practices, interactivity, and social media all present opportunities for resistance to the challenges of neoliberal ideology, and the Critical Digital Humanities research collective will rethink notions of agency through practices of becoming and emergence within digital media.