Information & Culture is an academic journal printed three times a year by the University of Texas Press. It publishes original, high-quality, peer reviewed articles examining the social and cultural influences and impact of information and its associated technologies, broadly construed, on all areas of human endeavor. In keeping with the spirit of information studies, we seek papers emphasizing a human-centered focus that address the role of and reciprocal relationship of information and culture, regardless of time and place.

The journal welcomes submissions from an array of relevant theoretical and methodological approaches, including but not limited to historical, sociological, psychological, political and educational research that address the interaction of information and culture.

To learn more about our submission standards or submit an article for publication in Information & Culture, visit our submission requirements page.


New Issue: Vol 58.2 (August)

Taxonomizing Information Practices in a Large Conspiracy Movement: Using Early QAnon as a Case Study 

by James Hodges

p. 129-144


This paper presents a taxonomy of the information practices apparent in an imageboard discussion thread that was influential in jump-starting the worldwide QAnon movement. After introducing QAnon with a review of literature, the author examines 4Chan /pol/ thread #147547939 (key in introducing multiple key elements of the QAnon narrative) to enumerate and classify the information practices deployed by discussion participants. In conclusion, the paper expands beyond existing research’s previous focus on outright fabrication, showing that early QAnon participants’ information practices are also defined in large part by suspicious and idiosyncratic modes of reading authentic sources, not simply the propagation of falsehoods.

James A. Hodges studies the evidentiary value of digital objects. He is currently Assistant Professor at the San José State University School of Information and Junior Fellow in the Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography.

Algorithmic Divination: From Prediction to Preemption of the Future

by Christophe Lazaro

p. 145-165


Predictive algorithms today share more than just semantics with the divinatory practices of the past. This article will map the parallels, contending that the similarities between the two practices are true “propositions” which radically question the way we apprehend the world, the way we draw our knowledge from it and the way we then act within and upon it. Mindful of the limitations of such a comparative method, it will nevertheless attempt it by deploying a two-fold approach. On the one hand, it will question the epistemological nature of predictive analytics and examine their truth-claims with regard to how they represent the future. On the other hand, it will focus on the ontological dimension of predictive analytics and investigate how they shape the world, by bringing about the presence of the future in the here and now.

Christophe Lazaro is a law and society professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology of the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

The Information Theory of Translation

by Qiang Pi

p. 166-179


Against the backdrop of a fast-changing field of Translation Studies, new ideas and theories continue to emerge. This paper attempts to conceptualize translation beyond the linguistic confinement and reveal its hidden universality. It begins by reviewing the mainstream translation conceptualizations. It adopts information as the fundamental concept underlying translation and reveals concepts like source and target text, meaning-transfer, and language to be more of special cases of the information-based concept of translation; translation is, as a result, expanded to include not only human action of creations, behaviors, and responses but of other life forms, inanimate or artificial substance that are capable of meaning-making. The paper thus proposes the Information Theory of Translation (ITT). It defines translation as a meaning-making process conducted by an agent within its specific informational boundary and time limit to achieve certain goals. Finally, discussions are made about some key problems in Translation Studies.

Qiang Pi is a Lecturer in the School of Foreign Studies at Guangzhou University. He completed his Ph.D. at Tongji University. His research interests lie in the interaction between Translation Studies and Ecocriticism.

Care and Feeding for the Computer: Imagining Machines’ Preventive Care and Medicine

by Rachel Plotnick

p. 66-83


This article investigates how computing discourses, including user guides, news articles, and advertisements, urged personal computer users in the 1970s and 80s to preventively care for their devices. Through hygiene recommendations related to eating, drinking, and dusting, these discourses warned that computers’ “health” depended upon humans. Importantly, they interpreted care as individual responsibility by putting the onus on users to behave properly. Within this frame, such texts described repairs as unfortunate medical interventions resulting from neglect. The piece argues that computing discourses have historically defined “care” and
“repair” in opposition, as acts of doting prevention and undesirable intervention respectively.

Rachel Plotnick is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in The Media School at Indiana University Bloomington who studies human-machine relationships. Her book, Power Button: A History of Pleasure, Panic and the Politics of Pushing is published by The MIT Press.

Media and the Affective Life of Slavery by Allison Page (review)

p. 205-206

Media and the Affective Life of Slavery
by Allison Page
HARDCOVER, $104; Paperback, $26
ISBN 9781517910396

Nicole A. Cooke


Allison Page’s Media and the Affective Life of Slavery embarks on a less discussed aspect of the legacy of slavery—that of how its narrative can be used to regulate the emotions, including guilt, of its consumers and thus to implicitly suggest that its legacy is no longer an issue in present day.

Rise of the Far Right: Technologies of Recruitment and Mobilization edited by Melody Devries, Judith Bessant, and Rob Watts (review)

p. 207-208

Rise of the Far Right: Technologies of Recruitment and Mobilization
edited by Melody Devries, Judith Bessant, and Rob Watts 
Rowman & Littlefield, 2021, 300 pp.  
Hardback, $120.00; paperback, $39.00; eBook, $37.00 
ISBN: 978-1-78661-492-6; 978-1-5381-5890-6; 978-1-78661-493-3 

Tomás Dodds


Rise of the Far Right: Technologies of Recruitment and Mobilization is a significant and most welcome contribution to the noticeable uptick in academic work on extreme ideologies propagating on social media platforms. In this book, Melody Devries (Ryerson University), Judith Bessant, and Rob Watts (both at RMIT University) have compiled chapters that explore how material infrastructure, political processes, and platform affordances have permanently changed the game in the recruitment and mobilization of far-right militants.  

Circulation and Control: Artistic Culture and Intellectual Property in the Nineteenth Century edited by Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire and Will Slauter (review)

p. 209-211

Circulation and Control: Artistic Culture and Intellectual Property in the Nineteenth Century
Edited by Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire and Will Slauter
Open Book Publishers, 2021, 542 pp. 
Paperback, £28.95 
Digital, free 
ISBN: 978-1-80064-146-4 

Priti Joshi


This book is highly recommended—for its nuanced case studies that consistently examine law, custom, and business practices as affordances in conversation; for the breadth of scholars (of art, law, media, and materiality) and curators who appear here and their depth of knowledge; for the precisely-selected illustrations to illuminate arguments; and for its uniformly excellent writing.

Reading, Wanting, and Broken Economics: A Twenty-First-Century Study of Readers and Bookshops in Southampton around 1900 by Simon R. Frost (review)

p. 212-213

Reading, Wanting, and Broken Economics: A Twenty-First-Century Study of Readers and Bookshops in Southampton around 1900
by Simon R. Frost
SUNY Press, 2021, 396 pp. 
Hardcover, $95; paperback, $33.95 
ISBN: 9781438483511 

Anna Lanfranchi


Erudite and experimental at once, Simon Frost’s Reading, Wanting, and Broken Economics aims to offer a new interpretative key to the historical understanding of readers’ dreams, drives, and desires as they browsed the shelf of a book shop at the turn of the twentieth century.

Climatic Media: Transpacific Experiments in Atmospheric Control by Yuriko Furuhata (review)

p. 214-216

Climatic Media: Transpacific Experiments in Atmospheric Control 
by Yuriko Furuhata
Duke University Press, 2022, 256 pp. 
Paperback $25.95 
ISBN: 978-1-4780-1780-6 

Weixian Pan


Many recent works, including Yuriko Furuhata’s Climatic Media: Transpacific Experiments in Atmospheric Control, have emerged from a deep concern for our present time marked by both planetary climate crisis and dependency on computational media. Yet very few authors share her ambition to trace how we get here: the transpacific genealogy of atmospheric control across the United States and Japan since the twentieth century, one that operates not only across scales but also brings together seemingly distant histories of atmospheric science, architectural design, environmental media, cybernetics, and empire-building. 

Digital Black Feminism by Catherine Knight Steele (review)

p. 217-218

Digital Black Feminism
by Catherine Knight Steele
New York University Press, 2021, 208 pp.  
Paperback, $27; hardback, $89 
ISBN 9781479808380, 9781479808373 

Rachel Pierce


Catherine Knight Steele’s Digital Black Feminism has two goals. The first is one of recovery: Digital Black Feminism contributes to a growing area of scholarship that attempts to uncover and, in doing so, center, the role of women and minorities in the development of digital tools and practices. The second goal is the centering of non-academic online critical voices as central to Black feminist thinking. Out of these two goals emerges the argument of the book – that “the use of online technology by Black feminist thinkers has changed the outcome and possibilities of Black feminist thought in the digital age, and Black feminist thought has simultaneously changed the technologies themselves” (4-5).

A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture by Jason Lustig (review)

p. 126

A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture
by Jason Lustig
Hardcover $74
ISBN 978-0-1975-6352-6

Aliza Spicehandler


What does it mean for the marginalized and the persecuted to control their data, and thus shape their destiny? In his book, A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture, Jason Lustig explores this very twenty-first-century question through the lens of the history of twentieth-century Jewish archives.

Available book reviews for the upcoming issue (Fall 2023)

We are pleased to announce the following recently published book reviews for the upcoming issue, Volume 58 Number 3

Streaming Culture: Subscription Platforms and the Unending Consumption of Culture by David Arditi

Reviewed by Franklin Bridges

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