Skip navigation
The Australian National University

The Future of Thinking in an Information Age

Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University

Does the Internet really make us dumber, as some pundits argue? And dumber than what? This lecture will analyse what it means to think through and with new information technologies, placing both these technologies and "thinking" in a historical context. Professor Davidson argues that many of the ways we teach, work, and evaluate attention, achievement, intelligence, and learning abilities or disabilities were developed for the industrial technologies of the early twentieth-century. How can we develop new learning institutions and new forms of measurement suitable for a digital age?

Professor Cathy Davidson is the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University in the US. She has studied the role of technology in the twenty-first century over the past decade. Since working in this field, she has helped create a program in Information Science and Information Studies at Duke University and, in 2002, she co-founded HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), a program aimed at advanced collaboration through digital media.

Professor Davidson has authored/edited over twenty books on topics including technology, the history of reading and writing, literary studies, travel, Japan, Native American writing, electronic publishing, and the future of learning in a digital age. Professor Davidson has served as the editor of American Literature (1989-1999), and as President of the American Studies Association.

Updated: 18 October 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration