Report: “And If Your Head Explodes With Dark Forebodings Too”: The Dark Side of the Digital (Conference Review)

From May 2-4 the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hosted a conference titled “Dark Side of the Digital” (Twitter: #c21dsd). The conference brought together scholars of media, literature, sociology, communications, law and policy, and the general orientation of the conference was to explore, in a relatively free environment, the worries and concerns scholars have about the digital transformation. While the conference was not directly about the Digital Humanities, and as far as I know no papers were given that addressed the “narrow” or “Type I” Digital Humanities; on the other hand, if one accepts the broader definitions of DH that some of us prefer, arguably the whole conference was about or was an example of DH–although not about the Dark Side ofthe Digital Humanities, in the sense that the MLA session by that name, also sponsored by the Center for 21st Century Studies, was about scholarly concerns about digital scholarly practices in the digital age, while this conference was for the most part about stuff in the world outside the Academy.