The site of this year’s ACLA conference is also home to the Center for Computation and Visualization that enables vibrant research and pedagogy within so-called virtual reality environments, the best-know instance of which is known by the recursive acronym “CAVE” (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment). In the Brown University Center students may take a ‘Cave Writing’ course and explore what it means to compose poetry or fiction with language in 3D, art students can use Cave Painting to produce pictures that float in space, and Geologists travel to Mars or Antarctica for fieldwork.
This seminar will bring into dialogue those who are working with actual-existing virtual reality and those who are studying its fictional representations. We will accept papers on a wide range of topics related to virtual reality, cyberspace, and cyberpunk. Of particular interest are those papers treating emerging aesthetic or political issues: What is the phenomenology of reading and writing in virtual reality? Is language in the media of virtual reality or is it itself the media? What are the consequences of virtual reality for the future of education? Will virtual reality be the ultimate form of alienation or will it reduce alienation, connecting cultural workers in new ways? How has virtual reality been used to depict issues of race, gender, class, and migration? Might virtual reality be a future site of cultural exchange and translation?
Our aim is to explore the relationship between existing virtual reality technology and its extrapolation into the future by literature and film.
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