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In the age of search, keywords increasingly organize research, teaching, and even thought itself. Inspired by Raymond Williams's 1976 classic Keywords, the timely collection Digital Keywords gathers pointed, provocative short essays on more than two dozen keywords by leading and rising digital media scholars from the areas of anthropology, digital humanities, history, political science, philosophy, religious studies, rhetoric, science and technology studies, and sociology. Digital Keywords examines and critiques the rich lexicon animating the emerging field of digital studies. This collection broadens our understanding of how we talk about the modern world, particularly of the vocabulary at work in information technologies. Contributors scrutinize each keyword independently: for example, the recent pairing of digital and analog is separated, while classic terms such as community, culture, event, memory, and democracy are treated in light of their historical and intellectual importance. Metaphors of the cloud in cloud computing and the mirror in data mirroring combine with recent and radical uses of terms such as information, sharing, gaming, algorithm, and internet to reveal previously hidden insights into contemporary life. Bookended by a critical introduction and a list of over two hundred other digital keywords, these essays provide concise, compelling arguments about our current mediated condition. Digital Keywords delves into what language does in today's information revolution and why it matters.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi Introduction, Benjamin Peters xiii 1 Activism, Guobin Yang 1 2 Algorithm, Tarleton Gillespie 18 3 Analog, Jonathan Sterne 31 4 Archive, Katherine D. Harris 45 5 Cloud, John Durham Peters 54 6 Community, Rosemary Avance 63 7 Culture, Ted Striphas 70 8 Democracy, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen 81 9 Digital, Benjamin Peters 93 10 Event, Julia Sonnevend 109 11 Flow, Sandra Braman 118 12 Forum, Hope Forsyth 132 13 Gaming, Saugata Bhaduri 140 14 Geek, Christina Dunbar-Hesterv 149 15 Hacker, Gabriella Coleman 158 16 Information, Bernard Geoghegan 173 17 Internet, Thomas Streeter 184 18 Meme, Limor Shifman 197 19 Memory, Steven Schrag 206 20 Mirror, Adam Fish 217 21 Participation, Christopher Kelty 227 22 Personalization, Stephanie Ricker Schulte 242 23 Prototype, Fred Turner 256 24 Sharing, Nicholas A. John 269 25 Surrogate, Jeffrey Drouin 278 Appendix: Over Two Hundred Digital Keywords 287 About the Contributors 291 Index 297


About the Author

Benjamin Peters is assistant professor of communication at the University of Tulsa and affiliated faculty at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.


"[A] new and revolutionary publication... Digital Keywords serves as an in-depth interrogation of the meaning and development of digitised language... Those wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the modern, digital world we all inhabit would be well advised to begin by taking a look at this book. Just as Keywords made its way firmly onto reference shelves in the 1970s, so too will Digital Keywords today."--Jade Fell, Engineering and Technology "This a good springboard to spark a discussion about the cultural and social significance of a select set of words in the context of a computer-mediated society and culture."--Choice

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