Saronik Bosu talks about humanities work engaging diverse communities and publics, misconceptions about what the ‘public’ in public humanities might mean as well as the recent attention paid to it by academic departments. In a longer version of the conversation, some individual instances of various digital humanities and archival projects are discussed. Here he speaks mainly from the perspective of his own work as a humanities podcaster and creator of humanities programming.
Saronik Bosu is a doctoral candidate at the Department of English, New York University. He researches literary rhetoric and economic thought in contexts of decolonization. He is co-host of this podcast and the 2022-23 NYU-Mellon Public Humanities Doctoral Fellow. His work has appeared on journals like Interventions and Movable Type, as well as Avidly and Post45. He also makes art and works together its integration with scholarship.
Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu
Mark McGurl talks about disintermediation, a key term for internet commerce, and his new book about fiction in the age of digital self-publication. The fantasy of disintermediation lies at the heart of utopian dreams of the internet, but it turns out that not only is the internet actually a medium, and a vast economic engine, but self-publishing is a lot of work!
Mark McGurl is a professor of English at Stanford University. If you want to learn more about the effects of Amazon’s self-publishing mechanism on literature, check out his new book, Everything and Less: The Novel in the Age of Amazon (Verso, 2021). His earlier book The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (Harvard UP, 2011) takes a similarly materialist perspective on literary production, and it was sort of a thing. His first book The Novel Art: Elevations of American Fiction after Henry James (Princeton UP, 2001), blames Henry James for making American novels into art. In a good way of course.
This week’s image is a photograph of a printing press held in the collections of the Fort Nonquai Eshowe museum in South Africa, posted on Wikimedia commons.
Music used in promotional material: ‘Internet, the day when all humans will disappear’ by Monplaisir