Text Technologies

Text Technologies investigates all forms of human communication from 70,000 BCE to the present day in order to determine trends and characteristics of information systems from the cuneiform tablet to the scroll to books, film, and mobile devices.

From codices to ephemera, manuscripts to graffiti, Text Technologies explores historically and culturally situated technologies of text. Drawing upon the full disciplinary diversity of the humanities, we develop both research programs to facilitate a greater understanding of the production, dissemination and reception of textual objects and new tools for the interpretation and digital display of those objects. In additions to publications, research programs, and traditional and online courses, we host an annual collegium on a topic relevant to the circulation of textual objects.

There are several sub-projects under this umbrella, such as Recollections: Reviving Personal Archives, which seeks to uncover and investigate the lives and networks of people through archives of vintage ephemera that belonged to individuals, who kept notebooks and documents filled with artwork, stories, letters, images, names and incipient networks. CyberText Technologies is another major funded project, which focuses on the long history of information devices from c.3000 BCE to 2015. Our analyses reveal the underlying systems and patterns that define each technology’s lifecycle. Through Machine Learning exploration of big data, excitingly, we are able to predict how future technologies might evolve from the visualization of these patterns.

Text Technologies Website