a public talk by

MATTHEW KIRSCHENBAUM (University of Maryland)

Wednesday, March 20, 6:15 pm

CJ 1.114


This talk will adopt a media archaeological framework for considering floppy disks (the ubiquitous remnant of the first great home computer age) and their virtual simulacra, the disk image. The conceit of an “image” confers a complex epistemological status, bearing the inheritance of centuries of Western philosophical thought about the nature of mimesis and representation, with concomitant implications for archival notions of evidence, authenticity, and integrity. We will therefore descend to the ferro-magnetic surface of this unique class of media objects to examine their import and legacy from both a technical and theoretical standpoint.


Matthew 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 think-tank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, his next book, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.


This event is sponsored by The Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature and The Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies.


For more information,

contact Darren Wershler (d.wershler@concordia.ca)

or Charles Acland (c.acland@concordia.ca)