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KNL: Marcello Vitali-Rosati: "The Factory of Thinking: Protocols, Algorithms, Formats, and Worldviews"

When Jan 18, 2022
from 06:00 to 08:00
Where Online (Webex Events)
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For some years now, there has been talk of a "new materialism". Criticizing the idea of Aristotelian metaphysics which opposes form to matter, this current - if it is one - tries to return to the materiality of thinking: there is no form without matter, matter makes form, or even better, matter is form. To say it with Karen Barad: "matter matters". This means in particular that text is also always an inscribed text. A certain ideality of the notion of text such as it has circulated in the post-structuralist tradition is thus put to shame. Thinking is always an inscription, a text is always an inscription. There are therefore no neutral tools in the hands of a thinking mind. Tools, protocols, algorithms, formats… think. How do they think? What do they think?

 

Based in particular on the example of textual writing formats, I will try to show this fusion between technique and thinking and its cultural and political consequences. In particular I will analyze the format docx and the implications of writing with Microsoft Word, and I will present in contrast the text editor Stylo which was created in order to propose an alternative way of writing in the field of Human and Social sciences.


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// Prof. Marcello Vitali-Rosati is Associate Professor in the Department of French Literature at the University of Montréal and chairholder for the Canada Research Chair on Digital Textualities. His research offers a philosophical reflection on digital technologies and the issues pertaining to them, including concepts relating to the virtual, to digital identity, to the author and authorship, to forms of production as well as to the dissemination and legitimization of knowledge in the digital age. In addition, he is one of the most active contributors of the theory of editorialization. He is the author of several articles and monographs. He is also editor in chief of the journal Sens Public and co-director of the “Parcours Numériques" collection at the Presses de l’Université de Montréal (PUM). As chairholder of the Canada Research Chair on Digital Textualities, he also directs several digital humanities projects, particularly as pertains to the scholarly publishing field. Within this framework, he directs the development of journal editing and augmented monograph platforms, editing software and an editing platform for the collaborative edition of the Greek Anthology.

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