This collection emerges from a panel hosted by the Modern Language Association's MS Forum on Visual Media (http://naturalmedia.org/titles/) in 2017. "Natural media" re-valuates the communicative potential of natural spaces, especially in instances where symbolic import collides with raw matter in a manner that hides from, disguises, or elides stark reality. It considers intersections, collisions, tensions, opportunities, and affordances that arise in the discussion of "Natural Media," both broadly conceived and in its contributors' particular areas of research. It is also in close conversation with research inspired by a previous gathering on a closely related topic: Digital and Natural Ecologies.
Can a corporate-dominated Web become an environment conducive to literary activity? The novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Curtis White is skeptical. Responding to criticisms of his account of the devolution of literary publishing and reflecting on the prevalence of market-driven values in online exchanges, White doubts whether literature can distinguish itself in the noisy new media ecology, which he likens to a high-tech prison house.
Anthony Enns juxtaposes two models of German media theory in reviewing new works by Oliver Grau and Friedrich Kittler.
Scott Rettberg introduces 'New Media Studies': a cluster of reviews, and a term (similar in its emergence to the term 'Postmodernism').