Dirty Digital Humanities: From iPhones To eWaste

Amanda Starling Gould

This talk will plot the complex intersections of digital media and the environment, tracing the material and rhetorical origins of our digital technologies to reveal new stories about digital labor, waste, pollution, health, and ecological sustainability.

By foregrounding how re-narrating our technologies can highlight the entangled relationships that bind together the earth, the digital network, and the human body, it is possible to shift the media theoretical focus from one grounded in computation to one fully rooted in the earth. Reading the environmental stories our digital artifacts have to tell is a crucial task for emerging Anthropocene humanities.


Amanda Starling Gould graduated from Duke University in May of 2017 with a Ph.D. in Literature and a certificate in Information Science & Studies. Her dissertation, “Digital Environmental Metabolisms: An Ecocritical Project of the Digital Environmental Humanities”, is a hybrid study exploring the intersections of media materiality, the environmental humanities, digital art, and narrative communication theory. She is a Research Associate for the Department of Literature and Global Cultural Studies at Duke University and Project Coordinator / Digital Humanities Specialist for the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Her current teaching and research work investigates global environmental health communication, digital media, global environmental humanities, environmental justice, EcoCritical DH, sustainable humanities scholarship, embodied media(ted) experiences, and the narrative, performative, and artistic aspects of the health humanities.