The Punch Card Imagination: Authorship & Early Computing History

The Punch Card Imagination: Authorship & Early Computing History

History Hangout: Conversation with Zachary Mann



Gregory Hargreaves interviews Zachary Mann about his dissertation project “The Punch Card Imagination: Authorship & Early Computing History.” In support of his project, Mann, a PhD candidate in English literature at the University of Southern California, received an exploratory grant the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society. 

In “The Punch Card Imagination,” Mann reconsiders the development of punch card computing technology through the lens of contemporary literature. From parallels between the Jacquard loom and Romanticism, to the uses of punch-card computing by artists & authors in the mid-twentieth century, this interdisciplinary history suggests new approaches to the production of knowledge & culture aided by computers today.