Exploring Virtual Globalism: MEmorials for Afghanistan and the Lost Boys of the Sudan

The implied subjects of “exploring virtual globalism” are both students and teacher/scholars who seek to explore the complex problems and vexing issues of our global village through digital composing, with the goal of fostering understanding of self-and-other, as well as encouraging democratic civic discourse and action. The MEmorial, as theorized and practiced by Gregory Ulmer, is one genre which might help us do that, but as an experimental and emerging genre, the MEmorial needs further instantiation and examination. The two MEmorials I will discuss today can be added to the short list of MEmorials developed by Ulmer and those he has influenced; the first is a student-assembled MEmorial for Afghanistan, the later my work-in-progress, a MEmorial for the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

Greg Ulmer, Electronic Monuments (2005)

Aaron A., MEmorial for Afghanistan

Kevin Brooks, MEmorial for The Lost Boys of Sudan

Select an existing monument, memorial, celebration to which to attach the peripheral.
The Roger Maris Museum, West Acres Mall, Fargo ND. http://rogermarismuseum.com
Select an organization, agency, or other administrative unit that has some responsibility for policy formation in relation to the disaster, to be the nominal recipient of the consultation.
The President and his Cabinet, especially Donald Rumsfeld.
Deconsultation: Listen to Noam Chomsky, "Everyone is worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there is a really easy way; stop participating in it.”
North Dakota’s Congressional delegation:
Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D)
Deconsultation: embrace and support Lost Boys as family, as Maris.
Select a theory as the source of the rationale informing the consultation.
N/A (unless we who are not Ulmer get to count Ulmer)
Marshall McLuhan’s War and Peace in the Global Village, From Cliché to Archetype, and other works.
Place an electronic device at the site, designed to link symbolically the established sacrifice with the unacknowledged sacrifice.
Not sure yet.
Represent the above features on an Internet Web site, including links to Web representatives of the relevant sites and organizations and simulation of the peripheral. (48)
Electrate practices:
  • Video assemblage.
  • Textual minimalism.
  • Image links: yellow ribbons.
You are here.
Electrate practices:
  • Video assemblage.
  • Field research: photography and video.
  • Cliché links.
A person with an intractable problem consults a diviner, who uses a chance procedure to connect the personal problem with the collective cultural archive, which is also what mystory does (via the popcycle mapping). (213)
Watching the war game and the fear campaign thinking warily what life is like born well beyond my borders,i find myself pondering the existence of god and the role of divinity in our new found gun-toting pilgrimages.
As i look back to 2001 when i was seventeen, primarily exposed to a houghton-mifflin version of historic events, and newly sworn into six years in the armed forces, i'm not quite sure how i came to be me.
Not necessary?


1. The MEmorial, like most genres, is flexible; a successful MEmorial is not one that fills identified slots in the genre, but fulfills its intended social action—rememberance, deconsultation, circulations of ideas, democratization of memorializing, and possibly social action.
2. The materials for composing a MEmorial can and should be varied, mixed, and assembled, rather than processed. The effects of rubbing information against information is startling and effective (McLuhan), sometimes uncanny (Ulmer).
3. As supplement or alternative to the print-apparatus genres of commentary, report, and proposal, the MEmorial is a genre of invention, rather than re-search. It promotes reading as connection; it promotes investigation of print, visual, video, and audio materials not as evidence but as materials for composition; it leads to new insights, if not precisely to new actions.