[Humanist] 30.163 pubs: more on Unflattening; D-Lib for July/August

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Jul 12 07:24:53 CEST 2016

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 163.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Tim Smithers <tim.smithers at cantab.net>                    (91)
        Subject: Re:  30.158 pubs: Unflattening

  [2]   From:    Bonita Wilson <bwilson at cnri.reston.va.us>                 (31)
        Subject: The July/August 2016 issue of D-Lib Magazine is now

        Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:54:23 +0200
        From: Tim Smithers <tim.smithers at cantab.net>
        Subject: Re:  30.158 pubs: Unflattening
        In-Reply-To: <20160710075728.7E99385C at digitalhumanities.org>

Dear Willard,

I'd like to support your recommendation of Nick Sousanis'
Unflattening (Harvard 2015).

This is some of the best scholarship I know of.  A big claim,
I know, but I thoroughly belive this.  It really is an amazing

It is an experiment, as the publisher's blurb describes it.
But it's more than this, much more.  It doesn't just show how
to make a new way to communicate, this book is itself an
exploration and discovery of new ways of thinking, seeing,
conceptualising, understanding, and understanding how to
understand.  Reading, I mean looking at and seeing this book,
pondering the drawings, how they are drawn, what they depict,
how they depict, what they say, is, as you say Willard, a
delightful and enlightening journey.  It's a learning
experience: a beautifully and thoughtfully sign posted way to
working out new ways of thinking about, knowing about, and
understanding things we may think we're already familiar with,
and sure about, perhaps too sure.

There are too many things to remark upon in this book, but, to
point to just one remarkable insight, among many others, I
like pages 108 and 109, in Chapter 6, Ruts ...  "How did we
get here."  It say something, I think, to the ongoing
conversation about theory.

I'd say this book is for everybody to see, no matter which
discipline we work in.

Could digital drawing have resulted in such a wonderful book?

Best regards,


> On 10 Jul 2016, at 09:57, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 158.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>        Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2016 10:58:41 +0100
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: visualization
> Allow me to recommend what may be the first doctoral dissertation in 
> comic-book form, now published as a book: Nick Sousanis' Unflattening 
> (Harvard, 2015). The publisher's website (at 
> http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674744431) describes it 
> as follows:
>> The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture.
>> But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in
>> meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is
>> an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional
>> forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of
>> graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct
>> knowledge.
>> Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving
>> together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art,
>> literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of
>> comics to show that perception is always an active process of
>> incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its
>> vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as
>> illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion
>> to other visual references throughout the book. They become
>> allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against
>> abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is
>> presented on the page.
>> In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening
>> is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that
>> Sousanis calls “flatness.” Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of
>> Edwin A. Abbott’s novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of
>> “upwards,” Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the
>> boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to
>> produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access
>> modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.
> Those of us involved with visualization have a fair bit to learn about 
> the interplay between words and images. And the book is a delight, 
> bringing to life ideas (Gk. eidola) as images in the mind simultaneously 
> on the page. The experience of reading it is quite wonderful. Could a 
> digital form do as well as this printed book?
> Yours,
> WM
> -- 
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
> University

        Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 11:36:32 +0000
        From: Bonita Wilson <bwilson at cnri.reston.va.us>
        Subject: The July/August 2016 issue of D-Lib Magazine is now available
        In-Reply-To: <20160710075728.7E99385C at digitalhumanities.org>


The July/August 2016 issue of D-Lib Magazine (http://www.dlib.org/) is now available. This issue contains six full-length articles, an opinion piece and four brief articles (the latter of which appear in the In Brief column). The In Brief column also presents excerpts from recent press releases. In addition, you can find news of upcoming conferences and other items of interest in D-Lib's 'Clips and Pointers' column.  This month, D-Lib features the "The Science Collection," part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Collections.

The articles are:

Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age
By Bernadette Houghton, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

Exporting Finnish Digitized Historical Newspaper Contents for Offline Use
By Tuula Paakkonen, Jukka Kervinen, Kimmo Kettunen, National Library of Finland; Asko Nivala, University of Turku, Finland; Eetu Makela, Aalto University, Finland

The Pathways of Research Software Preservation: An Educational and Planning Resource for Service Development
By Fernando Rios, Data Management Services, The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University

Deploying Islandora as a Digital Repository Platform: a Multifaceted Experience at the University of Denver Libraries
By Shea-Tinn Yeh, Fernando Reyes, Jeff Rynhart, Philip Bain, University of Denver

Participatory Culture in Memory Institutions: of Diversity, Ethics and Trust?
By Chern Li Liew and Ferne Cheetham, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Analysis of International Linked Data Survey for Implementers
By Karen Smith-Yoshimura, OCLC Research

The Opinion Piece is:

Text Mining at an Institution with Limited Financial Resources
By Drew E. VandeCreek, Northern Illinois University Libraries

D-Lib Magazine has mirror sites at the following locations:

The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

State Library of Lower Saxony and the University Library of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany

Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

BN - National Library of Portugal, Portugal

(If the mirror site closest to you is not displaying the July/August 2016 issue of D-Lib Magazine at this time, please check back later.  Each mirror site has its own schedule for replicating D-Lib Magazine and, while most sites are quite responsive, on occasion there could be a delay of as much as 24 hours between the time the magazine is released in the United States and the time when the mirroring process has been completed.)

Bonnie Wilson
D-Lib Magazine

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