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Eversion

WithSteven E. Jones

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The term eversion is unusual, with medical and surgical associations appearing early, and as the term for a rhetorical figure in the seventeenth century, in which a sequence of words or phrases is turned around and repeated in reverse order. So the concurrent eversion of cyberspace and the rise of the new digital humanities was no mere coincidence. In one sense, the new digital humanities—the product of the same changes marked by the eversion—is arguably humanities computing everted. The eversion provides a context, as well, for some debates within digital humanities. The new digital humanities often aimed to question “screen essentialism,” the immateriality of digital texts, and other reductive assumptions, including romantic constructions of the network as a world apart, instead emphasizing the complex materialities of digital platforms and digital objects. The relation of gamer to game world is more cybernetics than cyberspace, literally more mundane, more in the (physical) world than has been imagined by many, especially many non-gamers.