Spring Term: Session 4

Coming to terms with the digital

A discussion on representations of the digital in contemporary American culture

6-8pm, Wednesday 7th March
Senate House, Room 261

This session will take the form of a seminar introduced and led by Zara Dinnen (PhD candidate, Birkbeck). The title of the session is a play on the title of a 2011 Guardian article by the American author and critic, Laura Miller. The article, 'How novels came to terms with the internet', thinks through some of the reasons why digital culture (particularly the Internet) is so conspicuously absent from recent American fiction -- (excl. SF, or SF-themed novels). The aim of this seminar is to expand and reify the terms Miller calls to account. The central question being asked then is, how is American culture representing its own encounters with the digital? Up for discussion are what the terms of this question actually denote; how might we begin to define and limit such terms as: ‘American culture’, ‘digital era’, ‘digital culture’, ‘contemporary America’, ‘new media’? Whilst no definitive answers are likely please come and join the discussion!

Suggested reading:

Kirschenbaum, Matthew G., Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008). PDF of the introduction available here.

Miller, Laura, 'How novels came to terms with the internet,' Guardian (15th Jan 2011). Available here.

Worden, Daniel, 'Late Postmodernism' [a review of Phillip E. Wegner's book Life Between Two Deaths, 1989-2001: U.S. Culture in the Long Nineties (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009)]. Available here.

No comments:

Post a Comment