1. Our sixth and FINAL Digital Dialogue of the Fall 2015 season featured Salisbury University Writing and Rhetoric Professor Trisha Campbell, who presented a compelling study on social networks as they relate to murder cases, explained through a New Materialist framework.
  2. Campbell started off by invoking Karan Barad's Meeting the Universe Halfway in an acknowledgement of proper acknowledgement (of MITH and Steph Ceraso, who recommended Trisha's work to us), and the 'entangled' nature of all agents involved in making an event happen.
  3. Next she broke down the intended four-part structure for her talk. In Part I: How I Got Here and Malcolm Gladwell's 'Thresholds,' Campbell related her experience moving from Alabama to Pittsburgh, hearing about the murder of a local teen named Dane Smith, Jr.
  4. At the time Campbell was working in an after school program with teenagers and was involved with local anti-violence movements. In thinking about the actions leading to Smith's murder, she referenced Malcolm Gladwell's October 2015 article 'Thresholds of Violence: How School Shootings Catch On,' in which he breaks down the sociological implications of the rise in school shootings.
  5. In the article, Gladwell talks about Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter, who published a study 40 years ago called 'Threshold Models of Collective Behavior,' about crowd dynamics in violent events such as riots. His ideas about violent actions being contagious and building upon a growing 'threshold' was key to Campbell's research on social networks.
  6. Campbell moved on to Part II of her talk, in which she framed the larger argument at hand and also described her methodology for research, which draws heavily on Bruno Latour's Actor-Network-Theory (ANT). In this approach, all events must be reassembled by studying and tracing the actors.
  7. Secondly in terms of approach, Campbell referenced Jack Halberstam (also known as Judith Halberstam), in terms of creating a different archive which allows different histories to be uncovered.
  8. To do this kind of research, Campbell looks at what Tara McPherson calls 'multimodal' producers and humanists.
  9. Examples of such multimodal humanists include Jim Rodolfo, Ellen Cushman, Shannon Carter and Kelly Dent, as well as Tarez Samra Graban and her feminist Metadata Mapping Project.
  10. Next Campbell outlined what she sees as a tricky line between archival documents and 'found' documents. Instead of seeing these two terms as oppositional, she posits that 'foundness' is an element of all archival documents, and that 'encounters' with digital traces shape how we see events. She quotes Jaimie Baron's book The Archive Effect: Found Footage and the Audiovisual Experience of History, which discusses this concept in terms of audiovisual archives.
  11. It was important for Campbell to also note the potential for archives to silence histories and networks, which artist Lara Baladi has discussed - archives as 'the method and the medium.'
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