Argos, a "resource for students, teachers and scholars of the ancient and medieval worlds, "moves even closer toward an "ideal research communication of the future" (Ginsparg). Argos is certainly a "resource," but cannot be described as merely a website, database, or archive, and does not "reside" in a defined space--in the physical (print) or virtual world. Rather its website provides a limited area search engine (LASE), which is hyperlinked to other Internet sites. The LASE includes digital representations of "sacred" cultural spaces, which Foucault aligns with heterotopias. For example, Argos includes the library- and museum-like digital archives of the Perseus project, a large database of the ancient world (vases, maps, structures, Greek texts). Users can constrain their searches for a particular vase in a particular historical period crafted by a particular artisan. The "classroom" includes pedagogically related materials of extraordinary quality and usefulness (in Perseus). For instance, John Gibert's Women in Antiquity webpage displays an aesthetically rich syllabus that features numerous power-point side shows (an Athenian wedding, historical background for Lysistrata), upcoming conferences, extensive bibliographies, and student research papers.

Thus, scholars, teachers and researchers share the same space, which creates "an almost limitless potential for an associational life" (Healy 60). In fact, any one of these roles may overlap or switch instantaneously, equalizing social groups and relations. Argos is heterotopic in that it juxtaposes "in a single [virtual] place several spaces that are themselves incompatible," in this case libraries, museums, and classrooms. It is also heterotopic by functioning as a countersite, whereby "traditional roles will be shifted by the electronic medium, and new roles will emerge" (Ginsparg).

Argos' new publishing model might be considered a countersite because it is similar to, but different from, all the sites it reflects and because it inverts the peer-review process typical of academic journals. As the "first peer-reviewed, limited area search engine (LASE) on the World-Wide Web," Argos is peer-reviewed by an editorial board of "associates" who "accredit" the "legitimating resources." Argos is trying to "contest and invert" the standards and conventions of academic scholarship&emdash;by appropriating different metaphors. The editorial board substitutes an "accreditation model" for a "referee model" because "accreditation models are designed for works, institutions, etc. that change over time and that may, in the process of their change, fall below certain standards." Because Argos' living protocol reassesses all sites continually, the archive may be rebuilt each week, remaining intellectually current and technologically operational at all times.

In appropriating new metaphors (of inclusion), in reflecting diverse cultural sites, and in constructing a space in which a disciplinary community can produce, work, and play, Argos has moved beyond "archive as resource" model. However, it is not a living space either because it does not "act as [a] microcosm [to] reflect larger cultural patterns or social orders" (Foucault 26). Nor does it provide a space for human interaction, like MOOs and listservs.

Abstract | Navigating | Overview | TOC | Introduction | Archive | Websites | Refracted | Visions | New Models | Works Cited

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