[SIGCIS-Members] the digital sublime

Hahn, Barbara barbara.hahn at ttu.edu
Fri Feb 19 23:29:37 PST 2016

Hi - I like Rowan Wilken's "Unthinkable Complexity: The Internet and the Mathematical Sublime" in the edited collection _The sublime today_ (2012).  It uses Kant's model of the sublime rather than Burke's and seems innocent of Nye altogether, and it's philosophical rather than historical (as are almost all treatments of the sublime) but I find it useful nonetheless.

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Dr. Barbara Hahn
Associate Professor, History Department, Texas Tech University (on leave 2014-2016)
Associate Editor, Technology and Culture
Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow
School of History, University of Leeds
From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Luke Fernandez [luke.fernandez at gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 1:17 AM
To: members
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] the digital sublime

Can anybody on this list recommend some articles or books about the digital sublime?  In  _The Technological Sublime_ David Nye documents how Americans have had sublime and "essentially religious" reactions to technology since their confrontation with the railroad.  However, Nye's book doesn't trace the American encounter with computers.  Moreover, the history ends in 1993 so one is left wondering whether the sublime is a category of experience that can be used to describe how 21st century Americans react to digitalized spaces. Are our aesthetic and emotional reactions to computers similar to the sublime reactions that Nye claims we've had when we've looked at dams, bridges, and the Apollo space mission? Or are our reactions to these technologies so different that they resist conflation with digital ones?  In Vincent Mosco's _The Digital Sublime_ there's a pretty good attempt to apply Nye's framework to cyberspace.  But this book which was published in 2005 in now itself ten years old and predates much that might be said about, say, the mobile revolution or Web 2.0. Hence my query.


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