Associate Professor New Media, Television and Popular Culture
School of Cinematic Arts
University of Southern California (USC)
After offering a typology of the digital humanities, this presentation will explore two ongoing experiments. First, several aspects of the international electronic journal, Vectors will be examined: its conception, its mandates, its infrastructure, and its innovative collaborative design process. Second, Ms. McPherson will consider a new project funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, that aims to remap the work flow between digital archives, academic research, and university presses. Some questions to be considered include: What happens when scholarship looks and feels differently, requiring different modes of engagement from the reader/user? How does "argument" shift when scholarship goes fully networked and multimedia? How do you "experience" argument in a more immersive and sensory-rich space? Can scholarship show as well as tell? What do humanities scholars gain from working with database structures and vast digital archives? What kind of new partnerships will be required among libraries, publishers, and scholars to foster future growth in this area?
Tara McPherson teaches courses in new media, television, and popular culture in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC). Her Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke UP: 2003) received the 2004 John G. Cawelti Award for the outstanding book published on American Culture. She is co-editor of the anthology Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke UP: 2003) and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected, part of the MacArthur Foundation series on Digital Media and Learning (MIT Press, 2008). She is the founding editor of Vectors, the multimedia peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the University of Southern California. Vectors pushes far beyond the "text with pictures" format of much online scholarly publishing, encouraging work that takes full advantage of the multimodal and networked capacities of computing technologies. This work has recently been extended to include a large research project aimed at animating the digital archive; the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and will explore new modes of scholarly authoring, publication and workflow. She is also one of three editors for the new MacArthur-supported International Journal of Learning and Media (launched by MIT Press in 2009), a hybrid online/print journal that will also explore new forms of online publishing.