• Autoethnographies of Mediation

    Julie Funk (see profile) , Jentery Sayers
    Digital media, Technology
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    affect theory, Autoethnography, Digital humanities research and methodology
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    Humanities research with computing is frequently associated with three approaches to technologies: building infrastructure, designing tools, and developing techniques. The infrastructural approach is common among some libraries and labs, for example, where “infrastructure” implies not only equipment, platforms, and collections but also where and how they are housed and supported (Canada Foundation for Innovation 2008, 7). Tools, meanwhile, are usually designed and crafted with infrastructure. They turn “this” into “that”: from input to output, data to visualization, source code to browser content (Fuller 2005, 85). Techniques are then partly automated by tools. Aspects of a given process performed manually may become a procedure run by machines (Hayles 2010; Chun 2014). Although these three approaches are important to humanities computing, today they face numerous challenges, which are likely all too familiar to readers of this handbook. Autoethnography, which is by no means new to the academy. Carolyn Ellis and Arthur P. Bochner provide a capacious but compelling definition of autoethnography, and we adopt it for the purposes of this chapter: “an autobiographical genre of writing and research that displays multiple layers of consciousness, connecting the personal to the cultural” (2000, 739). Our only edit is minor: “multiple layers of mediation and consciousness.” For us, adding mediation to the mix of autoethnography is one way to engage computing (in particular) and technologies (in general) as relations. This means tools and infrastructures are more like negotiations than objects or products, and techniques are processes at once embodied (personal) and shared by groups and communities (cultural).
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    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
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