[SIGCIS-Members] Book Announcement: Critical Digital Humanities
James E. Dobson
James.E.Dobson at dartmouth.edu
Thu Mar 28 06:02:13 PDT 2019
Dear SIGCIS Folks,
It was a real pleasure meeting everyone in St. Louis! I thought I'd
share an announcement for my latest book, Critical Digital Humanities:
The Search for a Methodology. It was just published by the University of
Illinois Press as part of the "Topics in the Digital Humanities Series."
If you want to purchase it, you can use the offer code S19UIP on IUP's
website to get 30% off the paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.
The final chapter of the book gives what I'm calling the "intellectual
history" of an algorithm, k-nearest neighbor. The abstract for this
chapter, which would be the one of most interest to this community,
reads as such:
This chapter turns to a lower level of computation to produce a cultural
critique and historicization of one of the most important algorithms
used in digital humanities and other big data applications in the
present moment, the k-Nearest Neighbor or k-NN algorithm. The chapter
reconstructs the partial genealogy, the intellectual history, of this
important algorithm that was key to sense making in the mid-twentieth
century and has found continued life in the twenty-first century. In
both its formalized description, its exposition in the papers
introducing and refining the rule and its implementation in algorithmic
form, and in its actual use, the k-nearest neighbor algorithm draws on
dominant mid-twentieth century ideologies and tropes, including
partitioning, segregation, suburbanization, and democratization. In the
process of situating the k-NN algorithm within the larger field
containing other residual and emergent statistical methods, the author
seeks to produce an intervention within the developing critical theory
of algorithmic governmentality.
My present book project continues this line of inquiry by focusing on
computer vision algorithms and has been greatly influenced by the
SHOT/SIGCIS community and many discussions had at the last conference.
James E. Dobson, Ph.D.
420 Moore Hall
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