In conjunction with my ongoing graduate seminar on digital history (HIST 201DH: Theories and Practices of Digital History) at UC Santa Barbara, I recently organized a virtual talk by Dr. Alan Liu on his recently-published monograph, Friending the Past: The Sense of History in the Digital Age (Chicago, 2018). Below you will find a short abstract for, as well as a video recording of, Liu’s research talk.
Alan Liu (English, UCSB), Friending the Past: The Sense of History in the Digital Age
Date/Time: Monday, May 4 from 11am-12pm PST
Abstract: “Can today’s society, increasingly captivated by a constant flow of information, share a sense of history? How did our media-making forebears balance the tension between the present and the absent, the individual and the collective, the static and the dynamic—and how do our current digital networks disrupt these same balances? Can our social media, with its fleeting nature, even be considered social at all? In Friending the Past, Alan Liu proposes fresh answers to these innovative questions of connection. He explores how we can learn from the relationship between past societies whose media forms fostered a communal and self-aware sense of history. Interlaced among these inquiries, Liu shows how extensive ‘network archaeologies’ can be constructed as novel ways of thinking about our affiliations with time and with each other.