American Library Association Talk: NINES, RaVoN and the Future of Academic Publishing
Dino Franco Felluga
Purdue University, West Lafayette
Skeuomorphs, RaVoN, and NINES
I discuss the skeuomorph’s relation to NINES and to digital scholarship generally in my 2006 article in Victorian Studies, “Addressed to the NINES.” A skeuomorph is a concept borrowed from achaeological anthropology and used by N. Katherine Hayles to make sense of the persistence of old formal structures within new innovations: “A skeuomorph is a design feature that is no longer functional in itself but that refers back to a feature that was functional at an earlier time” (How We Became Posthuman 17). Her example is the vinyl on the dashboard of her Toyota Camry, which has been formed to simulate stitching, though the effect is actually produced by an injection mold. The skeuomorph calls into play “a psychodynamic that finds the new more acceptable when it recalls the old that it is in the process of displacing and finds the traditional more comfortable when it is presented in a context that reminds us we can escape from it into the new” (How We Became 17). The language used to describe the computer and the Internet is rich with skeuomorphs: Web pages, bookmarks, scrolling, desktops, windows, portals, folders, files, documents, trash.