A single goal unifies
my research interests: I wish to understand how information-processing
technologies contribute to formal definitions of human nature.
In contrast to most current research on communications technology and
self identity, which uses psychoanalytic models, I am more interested
in how information-processing shapes our biological conceptions of “self”.
Specifically I am
interested in how new communication and transportation infrastructures
shape our conceptions of human potential and how these, in turn, are built
into the institutions that dominate most 20th century lives.
Two historical periods
are important to my research:
1) The rise of progressive
era American corporate, scientific, and educational institutions and
the development of new communication, transportation, and information
processing technologies. I then look at the use of these technologies
differentiated corporate structures,
b. Large scale philanthropic giving,
c. Developments in biological research and educational reform.
2) The extension
of mass media networks and the rise of the electronics industry in post-1960s
America. I have written and spoken on the following themes:
a. The role of
the electronics industry in redefining our conceptions of consumption
b. The relationship of communication and information processing technologies
to post-modern art and contemporary science.
c. The rise of modeling, simulation, and gaming as a novel epistemological
The tools that I use
to understand these topics are my rigorous training in cultural and intellectual
history, the sociology of science and technology, and the history and
philosophy of science and technology.
AND ONLINE SCHOLARSHIP
Made Flesh: Embodying Information (Routledge: due out
2003) Coedited with Robert E. Mitchell
with essays by:
Tim Lenoir (History of Science, Stanford), Rich Doyle (Rhetoric, Penn.
State), Mark Poster (Media Theory, UC Irvine), N. Katherine Hayles (English,
UCLA), Robin Held (Art History and Curator, University of Washington),
Bernadette Wegenstein (Communications, U of Buffalo), Mary Flanagan
(New Media Artist and Scholar, University of Oregon), Mary Villa (History,
U of Wisc.), and Elisabeth Le Guin (Music Theory, UCLA) Steven Shaviro
(English and Cinema Studies, University of Washington), Kathleen Woodward
(Director, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington),
Robert Mitchell (English, Duke University), Phillip Thurtle (Sociology
and Anthropology, Carleton University) and transgenic artist Eduardo
Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body
Thurtle and Robert Mitchell, eds.
By: Richard Doyle, N. Katherine Hayles, and Timothy Lenoir
By: Steven Shaviro, Peter Oppenheimer, and Kathleen Woodward
BOOK OF THE DEAD
An essay commisioned by the Henry Art Gallery for the Gene(sis)
G FILES": LINKING THE "SELFISH GENE" AND "THE THINKING
An essay commisioned by Stanford University for the Stanford
Presidential Symposia in the Humanities and Arts
CREATION OF GENETIC IDENTITY
An essay for the Stanford Humanities Review, Volume 5 Special
and Technological Incubations of Fascism"