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DIS Research Seminars



Archive for the 'Publishing' Category

Research Talk by Rebecca Roach

By Antonios Bikakis, on 22 February 2024

Conversation Machines, Missing Secretaries, Bad Readers

The talk was delivered on 21 February 2024 by Dr. Rebecca Roach, Associate Professor of Contemporary Literature and Principle Investigator (Digital) of The Stuart Hall Archive Project at the University of Birmingham., as part of the DIS research seminars series.

‘Giant electronic brains’: it was an early model for understanding computers, one that has been enormously generative, spurring advances in cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence across the decades. In this talk I want to tell a different story. There is another metaphor about computers that is just as prevalent in our culture, but much less commented upon: computers as talking machines. Conceived as interactive, as ‘conversational’, computing technologies start to look very different and the relations that they posit across disciplines (the inherent value of literary studies in particular) very different too. Taking as my case study the ‘ur-bot’ ELIZA (1965), I will pull out some of the methodological and conceptual implications of conceiving of computers as conversational. Call it a back-history of ChatGPT if you will.

Publishing talk by Richard Charkin

By Ian Evans, on 11 October 2023

My Back Pages: A undeniably personal history of publishing

The talk was delivered on 11 October 2023 by Richard Charkin, as part of the DIS research seminars series.

Richard Charkin’s experience as a publisher is unique among his generation. Over the past half century he has been a scientific and medical publisher, a journal publisher, a digital publisher and a general publisher. He has worked for family-owned companies, public companies and start-ups. In his memoir he uses his unrivalled experience to illustrate the profound changes that have affected the identity and practices but not the purpose of publishing. Richard founded Mensch in 2018. It has no mission statement and no stated editorial strategy. Its aim is simply to help authors reach readers with minimal intervention and maximum impact and to reward them proportionately.