Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 20, 2023, 6:38 a.m. Humanist 36.534 - queer digital humanities

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 534.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2023-04-19 17:19:38+00:00
        From: <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.509: queer digital humanities?

Willard & Tanner

Adding a little element to the documenting of Queer DH...

Jacob Gaboury tweeted recently about his work in the archives and Strachey's
Love Letter Program. [1] Gaboury also linked to his work from 2013 A Queer
History of Computing: Part Three which focuses on the figure of Christopher

Appropriately, Christopher Strachey is also best known for a series of literary
works. In 1952 Strachey developed a love-letter generator that ran on the
Manchester Mark 1 using a random number generating algorithm, predating the
ELIZA natural language processing program by twelve years. The project is
considered by many to be the first example of algorithmic or computational art,
though such claims are always highly contested. As a mathematician and computer
scientist, Christopher Strachey was also one of the founders of denotational
semantics and a pioneer in programming language design; yet this is not the path
Strachey began on as a young man growing up in Bloomsbury among artists and
intellectuals. [2]



*** Worth taking a look see for a summary of the various methods of approaching
the love letter generator.

François Lachance, Ph.d.
Life cannot be all told.
It is lived in the telling.

> On Apr 3, 2023, at 1:07 AM, Humanist <> wrote:
>              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 509.
>        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                Submit to:
>        Date: 2023-04-02 23:33:38+00:00
>        From: Tanner Durant <>
>        Subject: Queer DH -- what is it?
> Hey everyone,
> First of all, happy holidays to those observing (all three of the Abrahamic
> religions have major holidays currently -- maybe that signifies that this is a
> general time of spiritual insight in a cross-cultural way).
> I just finished reading the Bloomsbury Handbook to the Digital Humanities,
> was published recently and recommended recently in this listserv. I think I'm
> most intrigued at this point by the idea of Queer DH, which I feel like I have
> yet to encounter in the three years that I have been involved in Digital
> Humanities research.
> Those who have had memorable encounters with Queer DH projects or spectacles
> the past, what was it like, and what did it mean to you?
> Those who haven't encountered Queer DH but who have thoughts in response to
> quotes I've shared below--I'm interested to hear your thoughts too.
> These are the three main quotes that I saved from my reading of the Queer DH
> chapter.
> (A.) The business of DH typically operates within the limitations and
> possibilities of the historical moment, of the present. It works within
> and established theoretical, methodological, and discursive paradigms within
> humanities and information and computer sciences. By contrast, queer DH
> beyond the possible now and in the potential future, imagining “impossible”
> programming languages, operating systems, markup practices, and virtual
> playspaces. The speculative dimension of queer DH is indebted in part to the
> idea of “speculative computing” as described by Johanna Drucker in SpecLab:
> Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing (2009). pg 66
> (B.) Queer DH draws out the subversive potential contained within the digital
> humanities. It values the experimental, the playful, the failure, the glitch,
> the unfinishable, the breaching of disciplinary silos, and the disruption of
> reified standards of what counts as “real” scholarship. This is, in part,
> because queer people themselves know that what is “real” is a social construct
> that requires constant dismantling. pg 67
> (C.) The best articulations of digital humanitie(s) recognize that much of the
> exemplary work is itself centered outside of a rigid notion of DH, instead
> crossing interdisciplinary boundaries, with new media, critical race studies,
> postcolonial studies, diaspora studies, critical code studies, disability
> studies, queer theory and pedagogy studies, among other areas, all central
> scholarly production locations with long histories. pg 80
> Curious to hear thoughts.
> Thanks, and have a great week everyone!
> Tanner
> Tanner Durant - Chat @ Spike

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