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NYPL Labs: Stephen King's Wang: The Literary History of Word Processing

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December 16, 2011

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Wachenheim Trustees Room

A NYPL Labs lunch talk with Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

A Wang ComputerA Wang Computer

Mark Twain famously prepared the manuscript for Life on the Mississippi with his new Remington typewriter, and today we recognize that typewriting changed the material culture (and the economy) of authorship.  But when did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more? This talk, drawn from the speaker's forthcoming book on the subject, will provide some answers, and also address questions related to the challenges of conducting research at the intersection of literary and technological history.

Feel free to bring lunch!

Speaker

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, an applied thinktank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. His first book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, was published by the MIT Press in 2008 and won the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship (STS), the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), and the 16th annual Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association (MLA). Kirschenbaum speaks and writes often on topics in the digital humanities and new media; his work has received coverage in the Atlantic, New York Times, National Public Radio, Wired, Boing Boing, Slashdot, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. See http://www.mkirschenbaum.net for more.

NYPL Labs

NYPL Labs is an experimental technology unit that works closely with curators to create tools that expand the range of interaction, interpretation and reuse of research library collections and data. Labs hosts public talks and workshops on a roughly monthly basis on advanced topics in the digital humanities. Keep an eye out for future events @nypl_labs. Get in touch at labs@nypl.org 

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