Winner of the 2009 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship, the 2009 George A. and Jean S. DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, and the 16th annual MLA Prize for a First Book.
"Mechanisms is at the cutting edge of second generation scholarship on digital media and electronic literature. After the first generation's inflated claims and broad generalities, Mechanisms leads the way with precise, rigorous analysis both of the nature of digital media and of important works created in networked and programmable platforms. An essential work for anyone interested in the electronic literature, digital arts, and culture in the digital age." --N. Katherine Hayles, Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles
"Very few scholars have a precise understanding of the symmetries and asymmetries that define the relation of paper-based and digital technologies. Now when we need that kind of understanding, we are weathering a perfect storm raised by the long neglect of philological discipline, on one hand, and avoidance of any practical understanding of computerized resources on the other. Kirschenbaum's lucid book engages trenchantly with these important and pressing matters. It will wake its neighbors up." --Jerome McGann, University of Virginia
"At last in Kirschenbaum's Mechanisms we have our tactical plan for thinking inside the black box of digital media, for moving past 'screen studies' to a new take on electronic media informed by deep understanding of technological practices of inscription and storage. Kirschenbaum introduces a fresh and enlightening dichotomy, that of the interplay of formal and forensic inscription. This dichotomy becomes the raw material for cutting the key to a new critical apparatus for unlocking studies of digital media." --Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science & Technology Collections, Germanic Collections, and Film & Media Collections, Stanford University Libraries
"Kirschenbaum's book is the most rigorous, cohesive, historically informed, materially grounded, and theoretically interesting treatment of textual artifacts in the age of digital mutation that I have yet encountered. The book introduces completely new materials and unique archival and site-specific research within an innovative methodological framework blending the new textual scholarship with the equally new discipline of digital forensics. Mechanisms is destined to be a landmark work for the field of digital textual studies in the same way that Lev Manovich's Language of New Media was for the digital arts and new media fields." --Alan Liu, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara