Bob Stein on “The Evolution of Reading and Writing in the Networked Era”

This fall the Washington DC Area Forum on Technology and the Humanities is pleased to present:

Bob Stein on “The Evolution of Reading and Writing in the Networked Era”

For the past several hundred years intellectual discourse has been shaped by the rhythms and hierarchies inherent in the nature of print. As discourse shifts from page to screen, and more significantly to a networked environment, the old definitions and relations are undergoing substantial changes. The shift in our world view from individual to network holds the promise of a radical reconfiguration in culture. Notions of authority are being challenged. The roles of author and reader are morphing and blurring. Publishing, methods of distribution, peer review and copyright – every crucial aspect of the way we move ideas around – is up for grabs. The new digital technologies afford vastly different outcomes ranging from oppressive to liberating. How we make this shift has critical long term implications for human society.

Our speaker will be Robert Stein, director of the Institute for the Future of the Book. The institute has two principal activities. one is building high-end tools for making rich media electronic documents (part of the Mellon Foundation’s higher-ed digital infrastructure initiative) and the other is exploring and hopefully influencing the evolution of new forms of intellectual expression and discourse. Previously Stein was the founder of The Voyager Company where over a 13-year period he led the development of over 300 titles in The Criterion Collection, a series of definitive films on videodisc, and more than 75 CD ROM titles including the CD Companion to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Who Built America, and the Voyager edition of Macbeth.

We will meet on Wednesday November 7, 2007 from 4:30-7:00 PM on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in Room 163 of the Research 1 Building. There will be an informal dinner after the forum, at a cost of $10 per person. You must RSVP to Meredith Mayo (
mmayo1[at]gmu[dot]edu) by October 30, 2007 if you would like to have dinner.

Co-sponsored by the Center for History & New Media (CHNM) at George Mason, the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), the DC Area Technology and Humanities Forum explores important issues in humanities computing and provide an opportunity for DC area scholars interested the uses of new technology in the humanities to meet and get acquainted.

The Research 1 building is located on the main Fairfax campus of George Mason University. Parking is located directly across from the building in the Sandy Creek Parking Deck.