James J. Brown, Jr. is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Digital Studies Center (DiSC) at Rutgers University-Camden. His research addresses the ethical and rhetorical dimensions of digital spaces, and his book, Ethical Programs, addresses the ethics of hospitality that grounds our interactions with and in networked environments. His current project, “Hateware," addresses how the design of computational systems contributes to the problem of abuse and harassment.
Authors | James J. Brown Jr.
Articles on Amodern by James J. Brown Jr.
This essay tells the story of a technological arrangement that asks marginalized people to do the work of managing information networks. It offers a way of understanding the epic history of communication infrastructure and the labor required to maintain it. That labor is best understood in terms of the rhetorical technique of epicrisis, the quotation of a passage followed by commentary on it. Epicrisis is a metaphor for mediation itself: the message is passed along, but it is also affected and shaped by the medium. From telephone operators to Twitter users, epicrisis has served as a crucial, inventive, and persistent technique for managing unjust information infrastructures.