The Age of Transmission: From Victorian Media Cultures to the Digital Humanities


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




For residence at the National Humanities Center during academic year 2018-2019


This project looks to nineteenth-century intersections of literature and media to write a long history of the digital humanities, reaching back to the 1840s when many of its methodological and material preoccupations arose. Using a range of transatlantic, literary, and journalistic writing, “The Age of Transmission” demonstrates how Victorian engagements with media shift already defined many of the terms for contemporary digital interpretive practice. Victorian exemplars also recover emphases that the digital humanities needs fully to restore, including critical attention to the materiality of transmission, the ethics of mediation, lost approaches to visualization, and the historiography of data.