Main content

The Workshop in the History of Material Texts

Jessa Lingel (Penn): "'It's kind of fun because it's more stark': Web 1.0 nostalgia and craigslist's material form"

Image of the craigslist website

Monday, October 26, 2020, 5:15pm, via Zoom

Our speaker writes:
craigslist started out in 1995 as an e-mail list and grew into a website the following year. Almost as soon as internet access was widely available, craigslist was there, ready to help people search and find, buy and sell. For more than two decades, the platform has weathered the internet’s boom-and-bust cycle, while countless peers and competitors have come and gone. This longevity gives craigslist an important vantage point for thinking about how the business models and user policies of online companies have changed since the 1990s.  But craigslist isn’t just old, it’s also incredibly stable in its aesthetics — the site looks more or less the same today as it did in the late 1990s. In this talk, I analyze craigslist's material form as a way of thinking through changing design values of the internet.  craigslist’s refusal to update its appearance has become one of its distinguishing features, and a key reason that I have labeled craigslist as a holdout in a gentrifying internet.

About our speaker:
Jessa Lingel is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and core faculty in the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received her PhD in communication and information from Rutgers University.  She has an MLIS from Pratt Institute and an MA in gender studies from New York University.  Her research interests include digital inequalities and technological distributions of power. Her activist work is centered around libraries and information, support for incarcerated folks, and addressing gaps in access to mental health care in Philadelphia.

We are virtual for fall 2020! All are welcome. If you would like to receive details on how to attend upcoming Zoom meetings, please sign up for our listserv using this link or visit the Workshop website.

The Workshop in the History of Material Texts is supported by the School of Arts and Sciences through the Department of English and hosted by the Penn Libraries. The co-directors of the seminar are Professor Zachary Lesser (English), Jerry Singerman (Penn Press), and John Pollack (Kislak Center, Penn Libraries).

Associated with the workshop is the book series in Material Texts published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, which includes many monographs that have emerged from presentations given at the workshop over the years.

For more information, please contact Philip Mogen.

0
0
0
0
0
0