Thursday 26 November 2015

Gossip and the Fabrication of Reputation

'Thou art a whore and an arrant whore'

Gossip, whispers, muttering, celebrity tittle matter what the century, the 'la la la I daren't tell but I will' remains the bedrock of human communications. There is necessarily a feminist angle to all this mainly because women seem to bear the brunt of the gossip, as well as being seen as the clucking, busybody types pouring over the latest antics of the rich and famous. Academics can argue the toss over gender politics and the meaning behind historic relevance of women's conversations, but there was something deeply troubling about the reported slander from the 1600s which we heard recited in this lecture. Women can be truly hurtful and vicious.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Being (Digital) Humans

This is strange. I’ve been to many lectures recently but a mild panic about actually having to learn stuff for my skipper exams ensured all my notes have been neglected. The most recent one I attended was part of the Being Human Festival which, as the blurb says, 
Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. From philosophy in pubs, history in coffeehouses, classics on social media and language lessons on street corners – the festival provides new ways to experience how the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives. Being Human demonstrates the strength and diversity of the humanities, and how they can help us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world.

Being (Digital) Humans and how we experience culture - content and knowledge in the humanities - struck a chord. Like it or not, the connection between the digital and human worlds are increasingly making us into digitally driven humans. The work I've been involved with professionally and academically came together in this evening, and the more the speakers went on, the more I found myself wishing I was involved more directly. There were four varied speakers, Professor Patrik Svensson, Professor Todd Presner, Professor Sally-Jane Norman and Professor Lorna Hughes demonstrated the infinite possibilities when you combine the human and the digital.