CALL FOR PAPERS - 2009 MLA: Literature Across/Against Media
In recent decades a host of new technologies for instantiating literature have emerged. Not only the networked computer but also hand-held devices and virtual reality machines have become viable media for written production. As it encounters these interfaces, writing increasingly interacts with images, sound and video, hastening the process of convergence brought on by the digitization of cultural production. Not surprisingly, this series of developments has drawn the attention of literary critics and cultural studies scholars, who now commonly find their objects of study dispersed across a continuum of different media. Lev Manovich’s notion of database as genre, Alan Liu’s concept of the literary fused with computer programming, Loss Pequeño Glazier’s digital poetics, and Katherine Hayles’s contention that all contemporary literature is electronic: these represent only some of the most noteworthy interventions in this emergent field, one that will certainly continue to attract attention in years to come.
This panel welcomes proposals for papers on literature and media from a variety of perspectives, and it takes the following general questions as points of departure. What are the consequences of new media technologies for literary culture and criticism? How do contemporary writers contend with the broad series of options now available? How do they work against the properties and limits of particular media? How does this scenario affect the notion of a reading public? What are the historical antecedents for what is commonly framed as a new departure?
This panel is organized by Craig Epplin, from the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. Please send abstracts (around 200-250 words) by March 7 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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