[SIGCIS-Members] Announcement: New Book and Book Launch

Matthew Kirschenbaum mkirschenbaum at gmail.com
Thu Oct 7 07:34:58 PDT 2021


I am happy to announce the release of my book *Bitstreams: The Future of
Digital Literary Digital Heritage*
<https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/16248.html> from the University of
Pennsylvania Press.The ad copy is below, and attached you’ll also find a
flyer with a 20% off discount code— the book is simultaneous paperback, so
with the discount it is $20 US + shipping.

While there is little in this one that breaks new ground in terms of Actual
Computer History (tm), I hope the book does succeed in showing the extent
to which fields like literary studies and media studies increasingly
*depend* on computer history. Chapter 2, in particular, juxtaposes the
careers of two poets (William Dickey and Kamau Brathwaite) with the rise of
desktop publishing in the 1980s.

The English Department at Maryland is hosting a virtual book launch on *Wed.,
Oct 20 at 12 noon EDT* (see banner below). I will be in conversation about
the book with my colleague, *Dr. Marisa Parham*. Registration for the event
(free) is here: https://t.co/X8fInonF6N?amp=1 All are welcome!

Thank you-- Best, Matt

*Bitstreams: The Future of Digital Literary HeritageMatthew G. Kirschenbaum*

160 pages | 6 x 9 | 12 halftones
Cloth Oct 2021 | ISBN 9780812253412 | $65.00s | Outside the Americas £52.00
Paper Oct 2021 | ISBN 9780812224955 | $24.95s | Outside the Americas £18.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Material Texts

Table of Contents

Preface. Actual Facts
Introduction. The Bitstream
Chapter 1. Archives Without Dust
Chapter 2. The Poetics of Macintosh
Chapter 3. The Story of S.
Coda. The Postulate of Normality in Exceptional Times

* "Matthew Kirschenbaum has almost single-handedly taught us how to read
digital objects as material texts. Now, in this field-defining achievement,
he shows us the future of bibliography. Like the works of D. F. McKenzie
before it, Bitstreams will be required reading for generations to
Trettien, University of Pennsylvania

What are the future prospects for literary knowledge now that literary
texts—and the material remains of authorship, publishing, and reading—are
reduced to bitstreams, strings of digital ones and zeros? What are the
opportunities and obligations for book history, textual criticism, and
bibliography when literary texts are distributed across digital platforms,
devices, formats, and networks? Indeed, what is textual scholarship when
the "text" of our everyday speech is a verb as often as it is a noun?

These are the questions that motivate Matthew G. Kirschenbaum in
*Bitstreams*, a distillation of twenty years of thinking about the
intersection of digital media, textual studies, and literary archives. With
an intimate narrative style that belies the cold technics of computing,
Kirschenbaum takes the reader into the library where all access to Toni
Morrison's "papers" is mediated by digital technology; to the bitmapped
fonts of Kamau Brathwaite's Macintosh; to the process of recovering and
restoring fourteen lost "HyperPoems" by the noted poet William Dickey; and
finally, into the offices of Melcher Media, a small boutique design studio
reimagining the future of the codex.

A persistent theme is that bits—the ubiquitous ones and zeros of
computing—are never self-identical, but always inflected by the material
realities of particular systems, platforms, and protocols. These
materialities are not liabilities: they are the very bulwark on which we
stake the enterprise for preserving the future of literary heritage.

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum is author of Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic
Imagination and Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing. He is
Professor of English and Digital Studies at the University of Maryland,
College Park.

[image: FA3YeARWYAUk4HQ.jpg]

Matthew Kirschenbaum
Professor of English and Digital Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
Printer's Devil, BookLab
University of Maryland
mgk at umd.edu
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