David Theo Goldberg

David Theo Goldberg  headshot

David Theo Goldberg, Ph.D., is the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the University of California system-wide research facility for the human sciences and theoretical research in the arts. He also holds faculty appointments as Professor of Comparative Literature and Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine, and is a Fellow of the UCI Critical Theory Institute. Professor Goldberg’s work ranges over issues of political theory, race and racism, ethics, law and society, critical theory, cultural studies and, increasingly, digital humanities.


Blogs (6)


A Call for Algorithmic Studies

Thursday, July 09, 2015

colorful spheres representing algorithmic studies Digital technology and its modes of production, representation, distribution, and circulation remodel the conditions of possibility: the definition of Being, the structuring of the Social, the instrumentalization of the Political, the animation of the Cultural. They re-tool — and in many ways manufacture anew — the very nature of life itself. Even Bruno Latour and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, among others, comment on the growing indistinguishability between humanity and animality, a binary which the technological unhinges. Digital technologies create this third condition with the human and the animal in its developing sensorial capacities and evolutionary “smartness”; in its taction to our flesh and fusion with our skin


World as Platform…

Monday, January 12, 2015

the aftermath of earthquake destroyed homes and lives Editor’s note: The following post is a summary of a provocation delivered at the Umeå University HUMlab’s “Genres of Knowledge Production” conference on Dec. 10, 2014. (Watch video, starting at 14:18) 1. Platforms That from which we act and project, the grounds of work, productive and representational. Platforms are usually presumed to be steady, stable, solid platforms, then are taken for granted, the givens of production and performance, the base or basis — infrastructures, some would say — of knowledge production and circulation/distribution, availability and access. 2. World as Platform First, platforms are presumed to be flat (though of course they


MOOCmania

Monday, January 21, 2013

infographic illustration explaining what a mooc is MOOCs, it seems, are driving us to distraction. The objects of so much current investment, fiscal and psychological, if MOOCs (massive open online courses) haven’t reached you yet, they are just a click away, coming to a screen near you soon. Cathy Davidson caused a stir last week by arguing that, if humanists are unable to convey compellingly to various publics what we do and why it is important, we will be replaced by a screen; she had MOOCs in mind. It turns out that the challenge has had a longer history in cultural consciousness: “mooc,”


Badges for Learning: Threading the Needle Between Skepticism and Evangelism

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

graphic of hand holding small globe explaining lifelong learning breakdown There has been much ado the past week or so about whether badges can offer a viable means for assessing learning. It has been boisterous on both sides. Badge evangelists such as the Mozilla Open Badge Infrastructure (with which those of us at the DML Competition in Badges for Lifelong Learning work closely) and Cathy Davidson (with whom I co-founded HASTAC) have laid out a vision for how badging might work to reveal, recognize, and reward learning and learning pathways. But there are also skeptics in the room. Mitch Resnick has laid down the challenge to badges


If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

Monday, August 16, 2010

2 students smiling working on laptop computers together in classroom There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids.  The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools.  When computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.  And it’s disingenuous simply to cast aspersions on the kids.  Those are responses that do little if anything to account for what is a much more layered set of conditions.  Computers don’t define how they are taken up socially, people do. 


Welcome to the University of California’s New Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and Website

Monday, October 26, 2009

University of California Humanities research institute banner Today, at the forum on Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age, being hosted by the Sesame Workshop at Google headquarters, we are announcing the launch of a major new research initiative in digital media and learning (DML) and its associated website. Based at the University of California Humanities Research Institute in Irvine, California, the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative. The Research Hub, for which I serve as Executive Director and Mimi Ito the Research Director, intersects work promoting and networking collaborative efforts to