User:Simon/Trim4/Thesis outline third draft

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

N.B.: The thesis takes the format of a Rolodex, or Library Index. With an initial focus on the actions carried out by the contingent librarian, I aim to write my thesis beginning with short descriptions that will be collated into a thesis publication. This will serve as a glossary to refer back to, as well as an expandable form, as the Index is an open (unbound) publication that can be appended, condensed, reduced, and shuffled as needed. In doing so I aim to develop a lexicon that can be useful for the contingencies of libraries (in an expanded sense of the words "library", and "text" that can include shared collections text-based media) to develop, survive, and thrive.



  • why do we need texts? what is their function?
    • the technology of language and its evolution through orality > literacy
    • preservation of memory - language inscribed in oral traditions, and in writing
    • social - the recollection of this memory forms narratives that constitutes subjects
  • ways of reading: browsing/searching, skimming/scanning
  • access to texts (or lack thereof) - where do they come from?
  • copyright law and authorship - Eva Weinmayr’s essay
  • technical methods of digitising printed texts
    • scanning, processing text, redesigning, reprinting, make-do workflows


  • including/excluding
  • aspects of classification
    • social, linguistic, semiotic, political
    • collections of texts
      • professional/amateur; critical librarianship practices and how they relate to these aspects
  • what connects the books and the readers
  • how does locality relate to the collection?
  • proximity
    • in the infrastructure of the library (the catalogue, the shelves, the folders, the interface)


  • conversion between formats for diverse reading needs (academic/technical/social etc)
    • reading/writing (machine/human)
  • distributing texts through various methods and networks (distinction between digital and analog methods is blurry as they are often combined)
    • social
    • governmental
      • copyright law and its restrictions on distribution of knowledge
    • municipal
      • public libraries, social initatives (e.g. Leeszaal)
    • pirate
      • bootlegging, samizdat, warez, zine culture, unofficial/uncatalogued publications
  • the importance of locality (in both physical and virtual domains) and its relation to a library's survival
    • making it public/keeping it private
  • pirate/commercial models - what’s at stake?


  • a definition of the symbolic (Lacan’s example of a door and its uses outside of binary open/closed)
    • what are the conditions for this symbolic link to resonate and persevere?
  • what strategies can be adopted to initiate and maintain this?
    • associating texts with the people who read, annotate, and discuss them
      • orating/printing written & oral discourse around texts - how can these be published?
    • shifting power relations from top-down to bottom-up models of library infrastructure
    • supporting the sociability of libraries through
      • collectively organised cataloguing and classifying systems
      • bootlegging and "unofficial" publishing practices
      • localised distribution methods


Austin, J.L., Urmson, J.O., 1971. How to do things with words: the William James lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955, Oxford paperbacks. Oxford Univ. Press, London.

Bangma, A. and Piet Zwart Instituut (eds.) (2009) Resonant bodies, voices, memories. Berlin: Revolver Publ.

Burroughs, W.S., 1970. The Electronic Revolution. Expanded Media Editions, Gottingen.

Butler, J., 2014. Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity : Tenth Anniversary Edition. Routledge, London ; New York.

Carrion, U., 1980. Second Thoughts. VOID Distributors, Amsterdam.

Connor, S., 2000. Dumbstruck: a cultural history of ventriloquism. Oxford University Press, Oxford ; New York.

Cramer, F., 'Language' in Fuller, M. (Ed.), 2008. Software studies: a lexicon, Leonardo books. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Dolar, M., 2006. A voice and nothing more, Short circuits. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Flusser, V. and Ströhl, A. (2002) Writings. Electronic mediations v. 6. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Gitelman, L., 1999. Scripts, grooves, and writing machines: representing technology in the Edison era. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif.

Hall, S., 'Encoding, Decoding' in During, S. (Ed.), 1999. The cultural studies reader, 2nd ed. ed. Routledge, London ; New York.

Hayles, N.K., 2005. My mother was a computer: digital subjects and literary texts. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago ; London.

Ong, W.J., Hartley, J., 2012. Orality and literacy: the technologizing of the word, 30th anniversary ed.; 3rd ed. Routledge, London ; New York.

Pennycook, A., 2008. 'English As A Language Always In Translation' in European Journal of English Studies. 12. 33-47. 10.1080/13825570801900521.

Zuckerman, E., 2013. Digital cosmopolitans: why we think the internet connects us, why it doesn’t, and how to rewire it. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.