Recent essays

Precarity or Normalization? Yes, Please! A Review of Isabell Lorey’s State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious

2017-04-02

In this review, three social conditions of the Precarious (“precariousness, precarity, and (governmental) precarization”) are described. Furthermore, the neo-liberalist use of self-regulation as a means to exert control over individuals is exposed. The possibility to turn precarity into “a form of political mobilization,” as suggested by Lorey, is also explored.

Back to the Book: Tempest and Funkhouser’s Retro Translations

2017-04-02

Jeneen Naji describes Chris Funkhouser’s Press Again and Sonny Rae Tempest’s Famicommunist Poetics as examples of “the UnderAcademy style” begun by Talan Memmott. At the same time, within the context of post-digital publication, Naji explores concepts like “transcreation” and “translation” insofar as the two digital practitioners have conveyed experimental e-texts into print.

Digital Ekphrasis and the Uncanny: Toward a Poetics of Augmented Reality

2017-03-15

In this essay, Robert P. Fletcher demonstrates how, while putting together digital and print media affordances, augmented print may evoke in readers a sense of the uncanny. Fletcher also explains how works such as Amaranth Borsuk’s Abra (2014), Aaron A. Reed and Jacob Garbe’s Ice-Bound (2016) or Stuart Campbell’s Modern Polaxis (2014) seem to demonstrate the existence of a never-ending return of the “familiar” in electronic literature.

Debates in the Digital Humanities formerly known as Humanities Computing

2017-03-05

In a review that addresses (and exposes) the founding myth of the “digital humanities” (DH), formerly known as “humanities computing,” Roberto Simanowski and Luciana Gattass measure just how much the 99 articles collected by Mathew Gold and Lauren Klein have overturned “academic life as we know it.”

The New, New, New Philology

2017-02-05

In this review of Rethinking the New Medievalism, Matt Cohen ponders the significance of philology’s ongoing period of “reflection, […] refraction, and revisitation.” Against the backdrop of contemporary shifts in the humanities, more generally, Cohen sees opportunities for medievalists to intervene, bringing with them both clarity and innovation to fields in a state of fluctuation.

Aurature at the End(s) of Electronic Literature

2017-02-05

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now: How will our encounters with these intelligent personal assistants - robots we’ve invited into our homes to speak with and listen to us, who share this data with vectorialist institutions that monitor our networked transactions - alter both human language and our efforts to lead meaningful lives? In a wide-ranging, philosophical essay that exposes various myths of computation while presenting a candid assessment of the rapidly evolving culture of reading, poet John Cayley speculates that literature will be displaced by aurature. Listen up, readers: A major challenge in the programming era will be to develop linguistic aesthetic practices that intervene significantly and affectively in socio-ideological spaces thoroughly saturated with synthetic language that are largely controlled by commercial interests. The time for aesthetic experiments that disrupt the protocols of a still-nascent aurature is now.

Not a case of words: Textual Environments and Multimateriality in Between Page and Screen

2017-01-01

In this essay, Ortega departs from Ulises Carrión’s notion of book as a “spatio-temporal entity” which goes beyond verbal language, in order to demonstrate how hybrid works (or “textual environments”) such as Amaranth Borsuk’s Between Page and Screen (2012) may create “new genres and material and poetic expressiveness.” By drawing on Rita Raley’s “TXTual practice,” Ortega also demonstrates how the “material dynamics” displayed by these works decisively contributes to the generation of meaning.