Ted Dawson

Published On


Page Range

pp. 309-328

Print Length

19 pages

12. The Weight of The Digital: Experiencing Infrastructure with InfraVU

  • Ted Dawson (author)
The following chapter by Ted Dawson explores the environmental entanglements of the digital humanities, considering the imbrication of digitally-driven attempts to confront environmental crisis with the contributions of digital technologies to that very crisis. The chapter centers on a case study of the InfraVU project undertaken in 2016-2017 at the Vanderbilt University Center for Digital Humanities, a project that sought to draw attention to the infrastructure supporting digital humanities (DH) at Vanderbilt. Dawson first considers the experience and concealment of infrastructure in contemporary life, and especially at the university. He then moves into a fuller description of the InfraVU project itself, showing how the development of the project exploited a productive tension between making and thinking which is central to so much DH work, and which can be understood as a specific inflection of the larger tension between understanding digital culture and digitally understanding culture. In addressing that tension, the InfraVU project demonstrates how digital humanists can use computational methods to think through environmental issues, while also reflecting critically on how that technology is itself implicated in environmental issues. The chapter concludes by foregrounding the role of the arts and humanities in ecocritical digital humanities (EcoDH).


Ted Dawson