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Authors | Liam Cole Young

Liam Young is Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of List Cultures: Knowledge and Poetics from Mesopotamia to BuzzFeed and a former fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) at the Bauhaus University Weimar.

Articles on Amodern by Liam Cole Young


Techniques of Scholarship and Textual Production

This essay experiments with using a specific site of scholarly and administrative labour as a platform for thinking about the coalescence of larger intellectual and cultural formations. The site is Canadian economic historian Harold Innis’s office in University of Toronto’s Department of Political Economy, ca. 1925-1952, and the formation is media theory. This isn’t an origin myth but an exercise in thinking about how techniques of managing information shape thinking, writing, and doing, and how they sometimes produce sparks of inspiration and influence.


An Archaeology of Form

This paper traces the list as a paradigmatic form of non-narrative inscription. The analysis uses tools from media archaeology to excavate layers in which the list is inscribed and encoded within larger networks and infrastructures – be they analog, digital, or imaginative. It isolates a constitutive tension at the heart of the form, first described by Eco (2009) regarding literary lists, between “everything included” and “etcetera,” and argues that by tracing this tension in the analog worlds of writing and representation we can learn much about the persistence of the list form in operational, digital milieu, wherein the very same processes and tensions are negotiated.