[Air-L] Dialogue Cafe: Computation and the Humanities - Revisiting a Silent Revolution

Nishant Shah itsnishant at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 00:25:36 PST 2011

Dear All,
Please do come if you are in Bangalore, and do help us in putting the word

*The Dialogue Cafe

*The Centre for Internet and Society announces the launch of its dialogue
cafe, where every month, we approach seminal thinkers, scholars and
practitioners to help explore knowledge paradigms that help us understand
and research techno-social realities through innovative thought, concepts
and frameworks.

The dialogue cafe draws upon different disciplines, histories, perspectives
and intellectual legacies in order to respond to a seminal piece of writing
that has changed, challenged and shaped the contours of interdisciplinary
science and technology studies.

The dialogue cafe initiates several strands of dialogues — between critical
thinkers and canonical texts, between different paradigm of knowledges that
interact with digital and internet technologies, and between interlocutors
located in different disciplines, to initiate critical thought/work for new
and innovative research in the field of Internet and Society.

For its first brew of conversations, the Dialogue Cafe serves you...

*Computation and the Humanities: Revisiting a Silent Revolution*

Steve Jobs’ comments on how “technology married with liberal arts, married
with the humanities” made Apple hearts sing is today widely re-circulated,
but not fully comprehended. We often take this to be the mark of one man’s
genius, rather than the symptom of a broader interdisciplinary history.
Noted Artificial Intelligence scholar Philip Agre recalls, “When I was a
graduate student in artificial intelligence, the humanities were not held
in high regard. They were vague and woolly, they employed impenetrable
jargons, and they engaged in "meta-level bickering that never decides

What happened, in the formative decades of Jobs and Agre’s generation, to
bring technology and the humanities into conversation? What have the
results been, other than well-designed personal computational devices, and
what is the significance for us? On December 2, 2011, the Centre for
Internet and Society invites you to a Dialogue Cafe, where we engage in
exploring what this all means and what kinds of labour it might take to
‘marry’ these disparate ways of knowing.

As a response to Philip Agre’s seminal essay on “Critical Technology
Practice”, the cafe will begin with an exposition by *Kavita
Philip*(University of California, Irvine), opening up into a critical
spearheaded by Cherry Matthew, and leading to a larger dialogue with the
audience, exploring fault lines of interdisciplinary research and
challenges of integrated technology studies.

For more background on these questions, audience is encouraged (but not
required) to explore the materials at Agre’s home page
http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/, and STS related links from
Wikipedia’s page

Please make sure you get a spot by registering with us: Send an email to
Prasad at cis-india.org to confirm your presence.
Nishant Shah
Director (Research), Centre for Internet and Society,( www.cis-india.org )
Asia Awards Fellow, 2008-09
# 00-91-9740074884

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