o xi o
ac k n ow l e d g m e n t s
This book is the product of years of collaboration across two continents. A
host of conferences—in Santa Barbara, under the aegis of the University of
California DigitalCultures Project, on “Interfacing Knowledge,” “Copyright
and the Networked Computer,” and “Digital Retroaction”; in Sheffi eld, En-
gland, on “Scenes of Writing”; in Trondheim, Norway, on “Literature, Tech-
nology, Imagination”; and in Stirling, Scotland, on “Textual Cultures”—led
in 2007 to the event that generated this volume and its argument: a confer
to risk is that in 2016 we are clearly
early, at most in the half- light of dawn. We have seen the inception of digitalculture and digital institutions, but from our knowledge of existing tenden-
cies (Moore’s law, globalization, robotics, blockchains, crowdsourcing, aug-
mented reality, the early days of deep learning, etc.), we might guess that we
are not yet even at the end of the beginning of an era of digital institutions;
and only a charlatan or a deep pessimist could at this point guess how long
the age of digitalculture might last. For this reason
, of Renaissance Clothing
and the Materials of Memory.
michael warner is the Seymour H. Knox Professor of English, professor of American
studies, and chair of the English Department at Yale University. He is the author of Pub-
lics and Counterpublics and The Letters of the Republic: Publication and the Public Sphere
in Eighteenth- Century America.
william warner is professor of English the University of California, Santa Barbara
and was the founder and director of the DigitalCultures Project. He is the author of Read-
ing Clarissa: The Struggles of
. Anderson helped prepare an archive of
his original documents. Kembrew McLeod offered key tips on overall
shape, as did Benjamin Peters. Alice Bennett offered superb copyediting.
Colleagues at the DigitalCultures Research Lab at Leuphana University
of Lüneburg, Germany, gave helpful suggestions at a crucial moment
in January 2016. So did Frank Kelleter and Alexander Starre during my
stay at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the
Freie Universität Berlin in summer 2016. Frank read a complete draft and
made more crucial and essential
Australian National University.
Gibson, J. 2007. “Risk Aversion and Rights Accretion in Intellectual Property Law” Yale
Law Journal 116: 882– 951.
Gillespie, T. 2007. Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of DigitalCulture. Cambridge, MA:
———. 2009. “Characterizing Copyright in the Classroom: The Cultural Work of Antip-
iracy Campaigns.” Communication, Culture & Critique 2 (3): 274– 318.
Hauben, M., and R. Hauben. 1997. Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the
Internet. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press.
Hobbes, R. 2010. Conquering
place. Disinformation and censorship by
omission are difficult for the public to detect. (The production of software to do this is
a growing area of digital media research today.) So while there has been fragmenta-
tion in the past of spoken languages and visual cultures, today it affects more people
simultaneously, in more complex and “invisible” ways. Each person in the world who
is connected to the Internet is a potential target. In this way, digitalculture wars can
be waged against anyone, anywhere, and at any time.
There is again an urgent need for