Dennis Tenen: Plain Text: The Poetics of Computation (2017)

5 August 2017, dusan

“This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today’s strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.”

Publisher Stanford University Press, 2017
ISBN 9781503601802, 1503601803
x+268 pages

Review: Jan Baetens (Leonardo, 2017), James Edward Draney (LARB, 2017).



Matthew Fuller: How To Be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software (2017)

29 June 2017, dusan

“Computer software and its structures, devices and processes are woven into our everyday life. Their significance is not just technical: the algorithms, programming languages, abstractions and metadata that millions of people rely on every day have far-reaching implications for the way we understand the underlying dynamics of contemporary societies.

In this innovative new book, software studies theorist Matthew Fuller examines how the introduction and expansion of computational systems into areas ranging from urban planning and state surveillance to games and voting systems are transforming our understanding of politics, culture and aesthetics in the twenty-first century. Combining historical insight and a deep understanding of the technology powering modern software systems with a powerful critical perspective, this book opens up new ways of understanding the fundamental infrastructures of contemporary life, economies, entertainment and warfare.

In so doing Fuller shows that everyone must learn ‘how to be a geek’, as the seemingly opaque processes and structures of modern computer and software technology have a significance that no-one can afford to ignore. This powerful and engaging book will be of interest to everyone interested in a critical understanding of the political and cultural ramifications of digital media and computing in the modern world.”

Publisher Polity, 2017
ISBN 9781509517152, 1509517154
x+233 pages



Theory, Culture & Society 23(2-3): Problematizing Global Knowledge (2006)

31 August 2016, dusan

In this special issue the TCS editorial board, along with colleagues in East and South-East Asia and other parts of the world, ventured in ‘encyclopaedic explorations’ in order to “rethink knowledge under the impact of globalization and digitization. The issue features over 150 entries and supplements on a range of topics which are addressed in terms of their relevance to knowledge formation, by contributors writing from a wide range of perspectives and different parts of the world. The entries and supplements are gathered under three main headings: metaconcepts, metanarratives and sites and institutions.”

Edited by Mike Featherstone, Couze Venn, Ryan Bishop and John Phillips, with Pal Ahluwalia, Roy Boyne, Beng Huat Chua, John Hutnyk, Scott Lash, Maria Esther Maciel, George Marcus, Aihwa Ong, Roland Robertson, Bryan Turner, Shiv Visvanathan, Shunya Yoshimi
With an Introduction by Mike Featherstone and Couze Venn
Publisher Sage, 2006
616 pages