Jacqueline Wernimont

Jacqueline D. Wernimont is Distinguished Chair of Digital Humanities and Social Engagement and Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College.

  • Numbered Lives

    Numbered Lives

    Life and Death in Quantum Media

    Jacqueline Wernimont

    A feminist media history of quantification, uncovering the stories behind the tools and technologies we use to count, measure, and weigh our lives and realities.

    Anglo-American culture has used media to measure and quantify lives for centuries. Historical journal entries map the details of everyday life, while death registers put numbers to life's endings. Today we count our daily steps with fitness trackers and quantify births and deaths with digitized data. How are these present-day methods for measuring ourselves similar to those used in the past? In this book, Jacqueline Wernimont presents a new media history of western quantification, uncovering the stories behind the tools and technologies we use to count, measure, and weigh our lives and realities.

    Numbered Lives is the first book of its kind, a feminist media history that maps connections not only between past and present-day “quantum media” but between media tracking and long-standing systemic inequalities. Wernimont explores the history of the pedometer, mortality statistics, and the census in England and the United States to illuminate the entanglement of Anglo-American quantification with religious, imperial, and patriarchal paradigms. In Anglo-American culture, Wernimont argues, counting life and counting death are sides of the same coin—one that has always been used to render statistics of life and death more valuable to corporate and state organizations. Numbered Lives enumerates our shared media history, helping us understand our digital culture and inheritance.

    • Hardcover $32.00

Contributor

  • Sex Dolls at Sea

    Sex Dolls at Sea

    Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies

    Bo Ruberg

    Investigating and reimagining the origin story of the sex doll through the tale of the sailor's dames de voyage.

    The sex doll and its high-tech counterpart the sex robot have gone mainstream, as both the object of consumer desire and the subject of academic study. But sex dolls, and sexual technology in general, are nothing new. Sex dolls have been around for centuries. In Sex Dolls at Sea, Bo Ruberg explores the origin story of the sex doll, investigating its cultural implications and considering who has been marginalized and who has been privileged in the narrative.

    Ruberg examines the generally accepted story that the first sex dolls were dames de voyage, rudimentary figures made of cloth and leather scraps by European sailors on long, lonely ocean voyages in centuries past. In search of supporting evidence for the lonesome sailor sex doll theory, Ruberg uncovers the real history of the sex doll. The earliest commercial sex dolls were not the dames de voyage but the femmes en caoutchouc: “women” made of inflatable vulcanized rubber, beginning in the late nineteenth century.

    Interrogating the sailor sex doll origin story, Ruberg finds beneath the surface a web of issues relating to gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism. What has been lost in the history of the sex doll and other sex tech, Ruberg tells us, are the stories of the sex workers, women, queer people, and people of color whose lives have been bound up with these technologies.

    • Paperback $35.00