Public Events

Ian Bogost, “The Tactical Humanities, or the Humanities in DH”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm at the National Humanities Center

“Digital Humanities” appears to name a set of approaches to computational scholarship in the liberal arts. That seems obvious, even if DH folk have a hard time agreeing on the details. But what if the most interesting and important thing about digital humanities isn’t the object or approach—the computational stuff—but the ideas and motivations behind the establishment and pursuit of DH in the first place?

Specifically, DH represents a rare and overdue tactical approach to humanities research in the contemporary university (and the contemporary world more broadly). Even though some criticize these tactics as retreat to the “neoliberal university,” in fact there is much to learn from how DH has approached the actual reality of contemporary scholarly life in the humanities. Furthermore, unless scholars learn those lessons, digital humanities won’t be able to grow into more general approaches for humanities scholarship, teaching, research, and management—the future of which might have nothing to do with computers at all.

Ian Bogost’s talk is co-sponsored by the Triangle Digital Humanities Network and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Ian Bogost
Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ian Bogost is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including most recently Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games (2016). Bogost is also coeditor of the Platform Studies book series at MIT Press, and the Object Lessons book and essay series, published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury. Bogost’s videogames about social and political issues ranging from airport security to consumer debt to pandemic flu have been played by millions of people and exhibited or held in collections internationally, at venues including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Telfair Museum of Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, the Laboral Centro de Arte, and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image.