This activity was part of the Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: A Writing Workshop with Environmental Humanities that took place in Stockholm 26-27 January 2017. The workshop was organized by KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment and TEMA (Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University). It was funded by Seed Box, a Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory.
Through a public call, the organizers invited scholars, artists and activists to participate in a two-day experimental writing workshop, where to share a commitment to and interest in experimental, creative, and more accountable forms of writing that can narrate and even make liveable worlds:
We seek to undiscipline and de-institutionalise modes and means of research-writing practice through sharing techniques and tools for both playing with words and writing for the joy of it. This workshop aims to support early stage scholars to write differently and sensitively in response to the need for new forms of engagement and expression called forth by the often destructive, at times regenerative, complexities of human-non-human entanglements within the anthro/capitalocene.
The workshop gathered together PostDocs, PhD and MhD students from several countries including Sweden, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Canada and the United States. During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to supportively give feedback on one another’s work, to reflect on and test out alternative kinds and forms of sensing, writing and authorship that are required, or are possible, within the space of Environmental Humanities, through collaborative trial and error. Participants were invited to share and trial tools together for ‘getting writing done’ and having fun in the process:
Donna Haraway’s (1991) plea for ‘cyborg writing’ taking the ‘fraught world’ as a starting point, J. K. Gibson-Graham’s (2008) invitation to view ‘thinking and writing as productive ontological interventions’ in world-making, and Rob Nixon’s (2010) call for narratives that attend to ‘slow violence’ ask us to re-think how writing can participate in right-ing, understood as innovative actions (Rose et al. 2015). Through testing out techniques, we also aim to widen and re-imagine the forms of contestation, resistance and affirmation in everyday life through Environmental Humanities-informed ways of storying.
Under the title Html 5, what is that?, my contribution to the Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: A Writing Workshop with Environmental Humanities consisted on a quick demonstration of the state-of-the-art in web-based scholar publishing platforms. In technological terms, it meant exploring the current possibilities of hypertext, based on html5, the fifth and current version of the HTML standard, a markup language used for structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web. It was published in October 2014 by the World Wide Web Consortium to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia, while keeping it both easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices such as web browsers.
What html5 provides for scholars is a 21st century tool to explore both form and content in a web-based way. My short talk explored html5 writing tools that allow "media enriched scholar publishing”, such as Scalar 2 software, a new semantic web authoring tool provided by the University of Southern California Institute for Multimedia Literacy. Scalar 2 is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. It permits to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with writing in a variety of ways, taking advantage of full of html5 ground breaking technology. Interactive components include navigational features and several ways of visualizing contents.
I showed case several scholar projects published under that platform, such as Dancing with the Zapatistas (edited Diana Taylor & Lorie Novak), Nicholas Mirzoeff's How to see Palestine and the demo of my own ongoing Scalar project Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene, staying with the trouble in Fukushima, based on my dissertation.
The activity was very well received and several participants wrote me afterwards requesting for more information. A proper workshop could happen in the future, not a demo but a practical exercise. Aditionally, I am currently applicant to the Seed Box Call for Applications, with a Scalar 2 project based on my dissertation consisting on a 3 months writing period including KTH Environmental Humanities Lab, Digital Humanities Lab, hosting institution Umea School of Architecture.
This activity is supported with:
- Call for Applications Writing with Undisciplined Discipline: A Writing Workshop with Environmental Humanities.