Beginning as a talk delivered at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine May 17, 2017, now edited and amplified for publication in the electronic book review and the 2018 collection of ebr essays forthcoming from Bloomsbury Press.
"More is not necessarily more. Faster is not necessarily better. Big data is not necessarily better." In the effort to capture and make available data about people, digital humanities scholars must now weigh the decisions of what and what not to share. Geoffrey Rockwell and Bettina Berendt address the new ethical issues around “datafication” in an age of surveillance.
How might literary databases be seen as alternatives to the commodification of academic scholarship in for profit, subscriber platforms? Scott Rettberg and Joseph Tabbi discuss issues related to instrumentality, the global marketplace, and the digital humanities.
Reading Topographies of Post-Postmodernism: Review of Post-Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Just-in-Time Capitalism by Jeffrey T. Nealon
In this essay, Laura Shackelford reviews Jeffrey T. Nealon’s “Post-Postmodernism.” Not merely an historical supplement to Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism,” but an attempt to devise a new critical method appropriate to our “just-in-time” present, Shacklford discusses its implications for literary practice in the 21st Century.
Natalia Fedorova claims sees the future of electronic literature in translation: just as translation from her native Russian to English can teach us about both of those languages, translations between "natural languages" and "languages of code" can clarify what makes electronic language literary.
Giorgio Agamben has identified the “State of Exception” as the emergent principle of governance for the 21st Century. Parallel to this crisis in politics, there is the increasing currency of the term emergence in literary criticism, media theory, and cultural studies to describe the general state of change. In this paper, Heckman considers electronic literature in the "state of emergency," as both a laboratory for formal innovation and a site of critique. Specifically, this paper takes into account the relationship between literacy, law, literature and criticism through a reading of Sandy Baldwin’s New Word Order, a work that reimagines poetry in the context of the first-person shooter game.
Andrew Reynolds reviews Stephen Schryer’s Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American Fiction, which argues for an instrumental form of intellectual labor in the service of broader social goals. Comparing novelists and sociologists representative of this new class, Schryer detects a self-defeating strategy in their rejection of collective instrumentalism in favor of individual dissemination of cultural education. Where Schryer closes by criticizing recent conceptions of an alternative economy of non-instrumental intellectual work within the university as a fantasy, Reynolds observes a “performative contradiction” at work in Schryer’s text and suggests that it is a good thing.
Countering Andrew Gallix's suggestion in The Guardian that electronic literature is finished, author Dene Grigar indicates that it may not be e-lit, but rather the institution of humanities teaching, that is in a state of crisis - and e-lit in fact could be well placed one to revive the teaching of literature in schools and universities.