4th BIENNIAL MEETING OF THE BABEL WORKING GROUP
Centre for Medieval Studies, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
DAY 1: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9
SESSIONS // 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Session 3. Hermeneutics 2.0
Organizer: Anna Wilson, University of Toronto
Room 301, Centre for Medieval Studies
The need for extra-institutional community between mobile academic and para-academic workers and the sudden prominence of the Digital Humanities means that a great deal of professional activity and community formation is happening in online spaces that nurture new hermeneutics, new ways of knowing and of sharing knowledge. Several recent articles have reflected on how Twitter has been shaping academic discourse in Medieval Studies in particular; scholars who live-tweet are exploring the new hermeneutics that emerge when a 20-min conference paper is translated into 140 characters with hashtags. Less explored are the ways other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, Youtube, Vine, and many others shape the way their users present information, both through the formats they invite — the fanvid, the anonymous comment, best place to buy ambien online the emoticons, reaction gifs, lolcats, webcomics, image captioning — and through the norms of discourse and audience literacies that emerge from the communities that gather on these different platforms. This panel seeks to explore how academic work transforms, translates, mutates, or reframes itself when it emerges in the shape of an internet meme, a piece of fanfiction, a hover text. What is at stake in such a change, politically, professionally, emotionally, and academically? What are the affective currents surrounding these different hermeneutics and movement between them? Who reads, who benefits, and who is put off or ignored? What political aims may be served, or not, by embracing internet hermeneutics? Where are the limits and limitations of internet hermeneutics? Can we speak of an ‘internet hermeneutics’ at all? The five presenters will display, play, or read out something they have made that explores the conjunction of internet hermeneutics and academic scholarship. These will provide a jumping off point for an hour of discussion between panelists, moderator, and audience.
- Kaitlin Heller (University of Toronto), “Live Anglo-Saxon Role Playing”
- Norman Hogg and Neil Mulholland, Confraternity of Neoflagellants (Concordia University + University of Edinburgh), “Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher!”
- Jennifer Jordan (Stony Brook University, SUNY), “Graduate School, Academic Self-Care and Digital Communities”
- Dan Redding-Brielmaier (University of Toronto): “Accidental Pedagogy: Tumblr”
- Ariel Franklin-Hudson (Columbia University), “Metatext/Paratext: The Hermeneutics of Tumblr Tags”
- Cai Henderson (University of Toronto): “Lay thine eyes upon it and thou shalt see that it is barren: Appreciation and appropriation of medieval art on Twitter”
Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher!
The Confraternity of Neoflagellants
As neomedievalists working in Scotland and Québec, our collaborative work is often fabricated mid-Atlantic in a cloud-workshop using freeware. Amazon is one of many labyrinthine online bazaars through which we have fabricated and distributed our work. Such platforms are ideal hosts for parasitic, para-artistic activities.
Since we were recognised in 2009, the Confraternity of Neoflagellants have persistently posted lavish and excessive reviews on amazon as an ongoing liturgical practice of person-object-veneration. The title of this project is Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a £50 Amazon voucher! (2009-)
In Toronto we will perform one of many reviews that we have posted on amazon.ca Over-identifying with amazon.ca’s ethical values – a fluctuating mix of long-tail corporate-probes and subjectivity-surfing – we carefully elevate ‘item#s’ into neomedieval relics by scripting ‘object hagiographies’ in the form of marginalia, commentary and gloss. This is the neomedieval practice of relic-ing. An ever-expanding bestiary hosted by amazon.ca, Let us know about anything wrong, or anything you don’t like about this review, and you could win a $50 Amazon voucher! is an attempt to generate and embody a hypereconomic assemblage of practices, to become a hub that dissolves distinctions between production, transfer, consumption, humilitas and virtus.
Relic-ing: amazon is but one means of socially incubating person-objects via social networks. For us, this hypereconomic phenomenon closely resembles the pre-modern practice of ‘relic-ing’. The hypereconomy (Alexander Chislenko and Madan Ramakrishnan) emerged in the late 1990s as an attempt to quantify (and thus to subjugate) social capital as ‘situational’ knowledge: user-generated knowledge produced by prosumers for prosumers. In the booming Experience Economy of the 1990s, the virtus-value of goods and services would go up and down depending on the collective experience of their communities of users. Whether it be a free-range egg, a cordless power drill, a cluster of spa services, or an avatar’s high heels, the hypereconomic commodity was a relational hub in a network of inter-human (humilitas = the “human” downscaled) subjectivities.
Post-net art: Where much post-net art tends to rework the forward-thinking postmodern collectives of the 1960s and ‘70s, neomedieval artistic practice adopts ‘backward-thinking’, to identify and develop possible ‘premodern futures’ through a visceral, indulgent, lavish, liturgical and ludic materialism. Given its non-modern condition, contemporary artistic practice has as much in common with the middle ages as it does with the avant-garde of the 20th century.
La Confrérie de Neoflagellants
Montréal, Québec et Édimbourg, Écosse.
La Confrérie de Neoflagellants a été fondée en 2009 par le Sergent-At-Bras Hogg et rejoint par Gardien des Vêtements Mulholland. Il s’agit d’une confrérie laïque et l’égalité des chances lié par chorégraphe.