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Turning off the TV

Apr 04 2012

I’m starting up a new blog, QwiksterProchronism (an obscure near-synonym for ‘anachronism’) for anything I want to post about  TV/movie related anachronisms and historical language. There are two new posts up there right now: on the season premiere of Mad Men and Sunday’s night’s episode.

People are interested in TV anachronisms, and I find the patterns it unveils really interesting for understanding language change. (A lot of my dissertation research focuses on just the sort of below-the-radar language changes). But I made this blog for working with large textual sources and posting occasional off-the-cuff rants about digital humanities, and the posts have gotten longer with time. I don’t want swamp it with too much about television. Minor week-by-week rundowns of Mad Men would fall under that category, as would random Deadwood visualizations and a bunch of other things I have sitting around and may want to dole out.

I think we could have a mildly interesting discussion about the role of TV and film criticism in the digital humanities, which retains a bit of stodginess about its subject matter in order to secure acceptance for its methodologies. (I tend to think this is a wise bit of strategic positioning, but am open to the opposite perspective). Though I do have a fair amount of early broadcasting history in my dissertation, I can’t bring myself to do a full-throated defense of writing about TV right now and passing it up as a somehow academic endeavor–chalk me up as part of the problem.

I’ll probably follow the Andrew Gelman model and crosspost on some things with dual relevance. So whenever I get around to savaging Edith Wharton for her tin ear in The Age of Innocence, it will be here as well.


Excellent. I look forward in particular to random …

Ted Underwood - Apr 5, 2012

Excellent. I look forward in particular to random Deadwood visualizations!

If you can tell me how those writers managed to produce a Shakespearean Western, digital humanities will have triumphed over all other schools of criticism ever.