As Houston rebuilds in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we find that our vision of infrastructure, whether gray or green, is defined almost exclusively in terms of civil engineering and the social sciences. The task of reimagininging cities like Houston in the age of climate catastrophe demands humanistic perspectives, both to critique core assumptions of and to provide alternative visions for our common existence. This joint public talk with Alan Liu and James Smithies introduces the emergent, interdisciplinary field of “Critical Infrastructure Studies” and considers the institutional dimensions of the public humanities and higher education, in order to help articulate how the humanities can critically and productively contribute to public debates on topics such as “preparedness,” “resiliency,” “disaster,” and “infrastructure.”
John Mulligan(Lecturer in the Public Humanities, Humanities Research Center, Rice University) “The Public Humanities as Cultural Infrastructure, Post-Harvey” (resources for talk)
The following is a partial bibliography of the Public Humanities Post-Harvey Think Tank group’s readings, followed by works cited in the introduction to the group’s white paper featured in John Mulligan’s talk. (Some of these resources are accessible only to the group.)
Alan Liu, “Knowledge in the Age of Knowledge Work,” Profession (2012) 204-15.
James Smithies, The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
Resources 2 (for Alan Liu’s talk)
The following are works cited in Alan’s talk as examples of various approaches to critical infrastructure studies. Alan’s talk finishes with mentions of two case studies of information infrastructure inflected by the specific institutional perspectives of the humanities, arts, or the university: the Mukurtu content management system and Jer Thorp’s “All the Names: Algorithmic Design and the 9/11 Memorial.”
Edwards, Paul N. “Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems.” In Modernity and Technology, 185–225. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. Cite
Edwards, Paul N., Steven J. Jackson, Geoffrey C. Bowker, and Cory P. Knobel. “Understanding Infrastructure: Dynamics, Tensions, and Design: Report of a Workshop on ‘History & Theory of Infrastructure: Lessons for New Scientific Cyberinfrastructures.’” University of Michigan Library, Deep Blue Repository, June 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/49353. Cite
Star, Susan Leigh, and Karen Ruhleder. “Steps Toward an Ecology of Infrastructure: Design and Access For Large Information Spaces.” Information Systems Research 7, no. 1 (1996): 111–34. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.7.1.111. Cite
Bélanger, Pierre. Landscape as Infrastructure: A Base Primer. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2017. Cite
Graham, Stephen, and Simon Marvin. Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition. London ; New York: Routledge, 2001. Cite
Hanley, Richard, ed. Moving People, Goods, and Information in the 21st Century: The Cutting-Edge Infrastructures of Networked Cities. The Networked Cities Series. London ; New York: Routledge, 2004. Cite
Bélanger, Pierre, and Alexander S. Arroyo. Ecologies of Power: Countermapping the Logistical Landscapes & Military Geographies of the U.S. Department of Defense. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2016. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/ecologies-power. Cite
Feilhauer, Matthias, and Soenke Zehle, eds. Ethics of Waste in the Information Society (Special Issue of International Review of Information Ethics). No. 11. Vol. 11. International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE), 2009. Cite
Gabrys, Jennifer. Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. Ann: University of Michigan Press, 2011. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/dcbooks.9380304.0001.001. Cite
Rossiter, Ned. “Locative Media as Logistical Media: Situating Infrastructure and the Governance of Labor in Supply-Chain Capitalism.” Blog. Organized Networks, 2014. http://nedrossiter.org/?p=380. Cite
Blanchette, Jean-François. “A Material History of Bits.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62, no. 6 (2011): 1042–57. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.21542. Cite
Holt, Jennifer, and Patrick Vonderau. “‘Where the Internet Lives’: Data Centers as Cloud Infrastructure.” In Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures, edited by Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski, 71–93. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015. Cite
Mattern, Shannon. “Deep Time of Media Infrastructure.” In Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures, 94–114. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2015. Cite
Montfort, Nick, and Ian Bogost. Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. Platform Studies. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2009. Cite
Balsamo, Anne. Feminism, Technology, and Systems 2: Infrastructure. Vimeo streaming. FemTechNet/DOCC 2013: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology. New York City: School of Media Studies, The New School, 2013. https://vimeo.com/79740274. Cite
Brown, Susan, Tanya Clement, Laura Mandell, Deb Verhoeven, and Jacqueline Wernimont. “Creating Feminist Infrastructure in the Digital Humanities." Abstract for Panel at DH 2016 Conference, Kraków.” In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts, 47–50. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, 2016. http://dh2016.adho.org/abstracts/233. Cite
Nemser, Daniel. Infrastructures of Race: Concentration and Biopolitics in Colonial Mexico. First edition. Border Hispanisms. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017. Cite
Nguyen, Hoa-Thi-Minh, Tom Kompas, Trevor Breusch, and Michael B. Ward. “Language, Mixed Communes, and Infrastructure: Sources of Inequality and Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam.” World Development 96 (2017): 145–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.03.004. Cite
Boehmer, Elleke, and Dominic Davies. Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructure, Literature and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Cite
Hetherington, Kregg, and Jeremy M. Campbell. “Nature, Infrastructure, and the State: Rethinking Development in Latin America: Nature, Infrastructure, and the State.” The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 19, no. 2 (2014): 191–94. https://doi.org/10.1111/jlca.12095. Cite
Larkin, Brian. Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008. Cite
Savonick, Danica. “‘The Problem of Locomotion’: Infrastructure and Automobility in Three Postcolonial Urban Nigerian Novels.” MSF Modern Fiction Studies 61, no. 4 (2015): 669–89. https://doi.org/10.1353/mfs.2015.0047. Cite
Straeten, J van der, and U Hasenöhrl. “Connecting the Empire: New Research Perspectives on Infrastructures and the Environment in the (Post)Colonial World.” PubMed 2016, no. Dec. 24(4) (2016): 35–391. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28251245. Cite
Von Schnitzler, Antina. “Traveling Technologies: Infrastructure, Ethical Regimes, and the Materiality of Politics in South Africa.” Cultural Anthropology 28, no. 4 (2013): 670–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/cuan.12032. Cite
Jaeger, Paul T. “Disability, Human Rights, and Social Justice: The Ongoing Struggle for Online Accessibility and Equality.” First Monday 20, no. 9 (September 10, 2015). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v20i9.6164. Cite
Priestley, Mark, and Laura Hemingway. “Disability and Disaster Recovery: A Tale of Two Cities?” Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation 5, no. 3–4 (2007): 23–42. https://doi.org/10.1300/J198v05n03_02. Cite
Vanderheiden, Gregg, and Jutta Treviranus. “Creating a Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure.” In Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Design for All and EInclusion, edited by Constantine Stephanidis, 6765:517–26. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-21672-5_57. Cite
Davies, Dominic. Imperial Infrastructure and Spatial Resistance in Colonial Literature, 1880-1930. Race and Resistance across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century 2. Oxford ; New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Cite
Study Group on Infrastructure and Society. The Logic of Cascading: Infrastructural Perspectives on a Post-Disaster Situation (Issue 3 of Disaster, Infrastructure and Society: Learning from the 2011 Earthquake in Japan). Study Group on Infrastructure and Society, 2012. https://sgis.soc.hit-u.ac.jp/dis03.en.html. Cite
DiMaggio, Paul J., and Walter W. Powell. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organization Fields.” In The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, 63–82. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1991. Cite
Freidson, Eliot. Professional Powers: A Study of the Institutionalization of Formal Knowledge. Paperback ed., [4. Dr.]. Chicago, Ill.,: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1993. Cite
Greenwood, Royston, Roy Suddaby, and C. R. Hinings. “Theorizing Change: The Role of Professional Associations in the Transformation of Institutionalized Fields.” Academy of Management Journal 45, no. 1 (2002): 58–80. https://doi.org/10.5465/3069285. Cite
Powell, Walter W., and DiMaggio, Paul J., eds. The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1991. Cite
Scott, W. Richard. Institutions and Organizations: Ideas, Interests, and Identities. Fourth edition. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2014. Cite
Barley, Stephen R. “Technology as an Occasion for Structuring: Evidence from Observations of CT Scanners and the Social Order of Radiology Departments.” Administrative Science Quarterly 31, no. 1 (1986): 78–108. https://doi.org/10.2307/2392767. Cite
Bijker, Wiebe E., Thomas Parke Hughes, and Trevor Pinch, eds. The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Anniversary ed. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012. Cite
Kim, Hee-Woong, and Atreyi Kankanhalli. “Investigating User Resistance to Information Systems Implementation: A Status Quo Bias Perspective.” MIS Quarterly 33, no. 3 (2009): 567–82. https://doi.org/10.2307/20650309. Cite
Weick, Karl E. “Technology as Equivoque: Sensemaking in New Technologies.” In Technology and Organizations, 1–44. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990. Cite
Williamson, Ben. “The Hidden Architecture of Higher Education: Building a Big Data Infrastructure for the ‘Smarter University.’” International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 15, no. 12 (2018). https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1186/s4123. Cite
Millar, Paul, Christopher Thomson, James Smithies, and Jennifer Middendorf. “The Challenge, the Project, and the Politics: Lessons from Six Years of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive.” In Crisis and Disaster in Japan and New Zealand – Actors, Victims and Ramifications. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
Smithies, James, Paul Millar, and Christopher Thomson. “Open Principles, Open Data: The Design Principles and Architecture of the UC CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive.” Journal of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities 1, no. 1 (2015): 10–36.
Hu, Tung-Hui. ‘Data Centers and Data Bunkers’, in A Prehistory of the Cloud. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2015, pp.79-110.
Smithies, James. ‘The Challenge of the Digital Humanities’, in The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp.1-15.
_____________. ‘Towards a Systems Analysis of the Humanities’, in The Digital Humanities and the Digital Modern. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp.113-151.
Koselleck, Reinhart. ‘Modernity and the Planes of Historicity’, in Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. Columbia University Press, 2004, pp.9-25.
Robert Rosenberger and Peter-Paul Verbeek, ‘Introduction’, Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015, pp.1-9.
Liu, Alan. ‘Introduction’, in Friending the Past. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2018, pp.1-8.
Hayles, Katherine. ‘Nonconscious Cognitions: Humans and others’, in Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2017, pp.9-41.
Rothko, Mark. ‘The Integrity of the Plastic Process’, in The Artist’s Reality. Yale University Press, 2004, pp.14-18.