New Book Announcement: Towards a Digital Epistemology By Jonas Ingvarsson


Towards a Digital Epistemology: Aesthetics and Modes of Thought in Early Modernity and the Present Age

By Jonas Ingvarsson

This book explores the concept of digital epistemology. In this context, the digital will not be understood as merely something that is linked to specific tools and objects, but rather as different modes of thought. For example, the digital within the humanities is not just databases and big data, topic modelling and speculative visualizations; nor are the objects limited to computer games, other electronic works, or to literature and art that explicitly relate to computerization or other digital aspects. In what way do digital tools and expressions in the 1960s differ to the ubiquitous systems of our time? What kind of artistic effects does this generate? Is the present theoretical fascination for materiality an effect or a reaction to a digitization? Above all: how can early modern forms such as the cabinets of curiosity, emblem books and the archival principle of pertinence contribute to the analyses of contemporary digital forms?

Table of Contents

From the Foreword – The Digital Switch: From Causality to Relationships

Today, investments in digital humanities are carried out at many universities all over
the World, and research calls that encourage various forms of multidisciplinary
database projects, preferably with one foot within the natural sciences and
technologically oriented social sciences, are staple goods nowadays. The question
we must ask ourselves is: What does digital media do with the knowledge production
in comparative literature – and in the humanities in general? What new theoretical frameworks do we need to address the digital? What new methods and
methodologies are possible? Or can, and maybe even should, we just continue as
Based on this challenge, Jonas Ingvarsson’s heuristic arguments in Towards a
Digital Epistemology suggest a number of possibilities for the future design of
comparative literature and the humanities. The ambition here seems to be that
through the digital – as a lens and mode of thought, which Ingvarsson
consistently maintains – afford a new understanding of (and for) comparative
literature and the history of the humanities. In short, it is about conceptualizing
the technological situation of which we are always already inevitably a part. With
ease, at times almost with a cocky elegance, Ingvarsson incorporates an impressive
and compelling energy into his argument.
Ingvarsson argues that the consequences of digitization for the humanities are
far-reaching, beyond digital tools and mechanical distant reading techniques. Based
on a combination of posthumanist-oriented philosophies of technology and media
theory, Ingvarsson argues that the digital affords a new paradigm of knowledge: A
digital epistemology. The purpose of the book is to elucidate the far-reaching consequences of this digital epistemology…

  • Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2020 edition (Dec 1 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 140 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 303056424X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-3030564247

Jonas Ingvarsson is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Digital Humanities and Editorial Practices at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is the author of books and articles on posthumanism and culture, media archaeology and digital epistemology. He is currently heading a research project on the history of literary criticism, combining discourse analysis with text mining and big data analysis.

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