Whither the Human? Computing and Indigenous Knowledge Against the Inhuman Sciences

Cover of Code by Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan

Event description

  • Academic events
  • Family friendly
  • Open to the public

The ASU Department of English's program in Film and Media Studies presents a talk by digital media theorist Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan of King’s College London. The event will take place in-person in room 117 of Ross-Blakley Hall (note: this is a location change) on ASU's Tempe campus on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023 at 11 a.m. All are welcome and registration is requested.

The “human” at the center of the humanities seems uncertain. Advances in “big data” and “cultural analytics” chip away at established methods in the humanities. Meanwhile, decolonial and Indigenous studies remind us how exclusionary the humanism orienting the humanities really is. Drawing on findings from Geoghegan’s recently published "Code: From Information Theory to French Theory" (Duke, 2023), this talk situates these critiques as part of a larger, century-long effort by progressive intellectuals to reform the humanities with knowledge from computing and Indigenous culture. In particular, Geoghegan shows how movements such as “cybernetics” and “French theory” sought—with mixed results—to bring digital media and indigenous knowledge into the ethical outlooks of the human sciences. That effort remains an enduring, but often overlooked, component in efforts to establish digital and decolonial humanities today.

Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan is a reader in the history and theory of digital media at King’s College London. An overarching theme of his research is how “cultural” sciences shape—and are shaped by—digital media. This interest spans his work as a writer, curator and teacher.

This is the first of two events featuring Geoghegan, who will also participate with ASU scholars in a roundtable discussion on Jan. 26: What are the Human Sciences?

Geoghegan's visit is sponsored by the ASU Department of English's Film and Media Studies Program, the ASU Center for Philosophical Technologies, the ASU Environmental Humanities Initiative, the Flagship Hub of the UNESCO BRIDGES Sustainability Coalition, the Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) Greater Phoenix Area, and the Learning Futures Collaborative on Education, Sustainability and Global Futures as part of the Learning Planet Festival.

Event contact

Lisa Han

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


11:00 am12:00 pm (MST)


Ross-Blakley Hall room 117