RECOMMENDED: Modeling Doubt: A Speculative Syllabus

Shannon Mattern (University of Pennsylvania) has published an open-access piece in the Journal of Visual Culture titled “Modeling doubt: a speculative syllabus.” Adapted from Mattern’s May 2023 King’s Public Lecture in Digital Humanities at King’s College London, the piece explores “where humanistic conceptions of doubt do, or could or should, reside within our digital systems: at the interface, within the code, or engineered into hardware and infrastructure.”

From the abstract:

In light of increasing artificial intelligence and proliferating conspiracy, technofetishism and moral panics, faith in ubiquitous data capture and mistrust of public institutions, the ascendance of STEM and the ‘deplatforming’ of the arts and humanities, this article considers doubt as an epistemological condition, a political tool, an ethical force, a rhetorical register, and an aesthetic category.

Of interest to DH practitioners, librarians, and higher ed administrators, this speculative discussion provides a valuable starting point for those wishing to dig deeper into the historical and recent conversations around the paradox of applying digital technologies to humanities data that is by nature incomplete and uncertain.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Mimosa Shah, Abbie Norris-Davidson, Kayla Abner, and Vera Zoricic (Editors-at-Large), Hillary Richardson and Rachel Starry (Editors for the week), Claudia Berger, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Linsey Ford, and Pamella Lach (dh+lib Review Editors), and John Russell (Editor in Chief).