Monday, 20 February 2023
Welcome & Conference Outlook
Dr. Janneke Adema (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University)
Introducing Computational, Combinatorial, and Data Books
A roundtable conversation with Dr. Janneke Adema (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University), Simon Bowie (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University), Joana Chicau (Creative Computing Institute, University of the Arts London), Prof. Gary Hall (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University), Dr. Kat Jungnickel (Goldsmiths, University of London), Dr. Julien McHardy (COPIM), Dr. Gabriela Méndez Cota (Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, Department of Philosophy), Rebekka Kiesewetter (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University), Simon Worthington (NFDI4Culture @Open Science Lab, TIB Hannover)
COPIM’s Experimental Publishing Work Package has worked with authors, publishers, designers, developers, providers of open source platforms and tools, on a series of Pilot Projects that are examining ways to align existing open source software, tools, workflows and infrastructures for experimental publishing with the workflow of open access book publishers. To do so, we have co-developed a set of pilot projects together with the scholar-led presses Open Humanities Press, Mattering Press, and Open Book Publishers.
This roundtable session serves as a pre-launch for the resulting pilot outcomes Archival Conversations, Ecological Re-writing as Disappropriation. Situated Encounters with the Chernobyl Herbarium, and Computational Books. Joined by many of the involved makers and writers, we will collectively reflect on the publishing process and, looking forward, looking back, consider what it takes to nurture experimentation in scholarly publishing.
14:40-15:00 Coffee Break
Publishing from Collections: Introducing Computational Publishing for Culture
Workshop with Simon Worthington (NFDI4Culture @Open Science Lab, TIB Hannover)
Computational publishing was developed in the life sciences and STEM subjects to allow publishers and authors to embed executable code, visualisations and advanced media objects alongside conventional text in a document. This hands-on workshop demonstrates one way how humanities scholars might use computational publishing.
During the workshop, we will auto-compile catalogue publications for exhibitions or publication listings from multiple open data sources; and show how such compilations can be published multi-format: web, PDF, ebook, etc. A series of exercises, using Jupyter Notebooks for code and the Quarto platform to wrap up the notebooks for multi-format outputting, will give participants a practical introduction to some of the tools, possibilities and concepts of computational publishing.
17:00-17:15 Coffee Break
De-schooling rewriting: or the promise of desapropiación
Keynote by Dr. Gabriela Méndez Cota (Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, Department of Philosophy) with a response by Rebekka Kiesewetter (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University)
Cristina Rivera Garza’s theory and practice of desapropiación has inspired numerous rewriting experiments in the Mexican context, among them the rewriting of The Chernobyl Herbarium by graduate students and early career researchers in collaboration with COPIM. Desapropiación is a poet(h)ics of rewriting that Rivera Garza theorizes in the collection of critical essays Los muertos indóciles (2013), and later performs in the hybrid work Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué (2017). The latter is an experimental rewriting of Juan Rulfo’s fiction as well as a historico-philosophical exploration of his life’s archive as a worker for the Mexican state that calls into question the role of literature – both material and symbolic – in the legitimation of Mexican sovereign power and its continued responsibility for the violent consequences of economic modernization.
But how does desapropiación work? First, desapropiación takes a step back from appropriative strategies that de-contextualize and exploit experiences of oppression and violence for the sake of aesthetic experimentation. Second, desapropiación sets out, instead, to bring forth a fundamental relation with language that capitalism has captured. If all language is borrowed, all writing is already re-writing, and desapropiación renders this fact palpable in each case. Third, desapropiación is not only critical or negative but also creative. By emphasizing heteronomous reading as a literary work’s condition of possibility, it not only interrupts the Romantic tendency to disembodied thinking and symbolic exploitation of the other, but also generates temporal and spatial conditions for ethical awareness. One could easily reduce desapropiación to an example of a feminist ethics of care, a communitarian morality or even a liberal concession to the moral rights of underrepresented authors/cultures/languages.
While Rivera Garza does invoke a communitarian ethics of care and recognition in her praxis of desapropiación, I suggest in this talk that it is possible and desirable to posit other levels, register, or scales at which desapropiación works. Such is, at least, the lesson I draw from the experience of re-writing The Chernobyl Herbarium in the context of an academic collaboration with COPIM. In this keynote, I translate Rivera Garza’s questioning of Literature into a questioning of Academic Writing as an Institution, with the help of Ivan Illich’s thoughts on ‘de-schooling society’ (1971) and on reading as a spiritual practice (1993).
Closing Remarks & Outlook
Rebekka Kiesewetter (COPIM, Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University)