Hannah Ackermans | From Letters to Vlog Entries: Truthfulness as a Literary Trope in Fictional Life Writing

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

This article proposes that the vlog adaptation is a remediation of the epistolary novel by examining the logic of immediacy. although immediacy is often approached as a mediumspecific characteristic of digital media, this article illustrates that both the epistolary novel and the vlog adaptation implement narrative characteristics of non-fictional genres to create an experience of immediacy. This experience of immediacy is taken to the next level by the vlog adaptation, in which the narrative’s serialization creates a temporal experience parallel to the viewer’s temporal experience. The truthfulness associated with life writing thus becomes a literary trope in fiction.

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August 18th, 2017

David Marshall | Monitoring Persona: Mediatized Identity and the Edited Public Self

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

One of the key transformations in contemporary culture is the insistent demand to construct a public persona. Constructing a persona for navigating through life is not new; what is new is the naturalization of producing a mediatized version of this public self. The complexity of producing an online public identity involves the labour of monitoring and editing ourselves, connecting with strategic purpose to others and building recognizable reputations. This article both identifies and concludes that what we are experiencing is the work and relative value of producing a mediatized identity—a persona—which is a form of identity often linked to celebrities in our traditional media industries and now pandemic in contemporary culture.

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October 4th, 2015

Laurie Ouellette and Jacquelyn Arcy | “Live Through This”: Feminist Care of the Self 2.0

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

This article takes Rookie, an interactive website for teenage girls, as a case study for theorizing the constitution and care of the female self in the digital realm. While critical media scholars have discussed new forms of interactivity, sharing and self-representation as a cultural dimension of neoliberalism, we feel that this overarching framework overlooks the extent to which digital technologies can also be harnessed to engage in everyday practices of feminist self-making and care. Drawing on Foucault’s work on ethics and care of the self, we situate the Rookie website, its social media extensions, and particularly the “Live Through This” column, as a collaborative practice of self-making and mutual care.

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October 4th, 2015

Laura Shackelford | Writing Touch at the Interface: Luxuria Superbia’s Exploratory Play with Self-Writing

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

Digital literary works, such as Luxuria Superbia (2013) an interactive, verbicovisual experimental tablet game, recombine media, modes, and genres of writing to comparatively reconsider and assess shifting writing practices. These works reveal the complex relations linking prior print to emergent digital forms of self-writing. They are particularly concerned with how shifting writing practices help to co-realize distinct subjectivities, intersubjective relations and lived spaces. Luxuria Superbia experiments with touch-based, multimodal digital writing, asking how it might alter gendered and sexualized assumptions about subjective boundaries and lived spaces. Such exploratory play with performative practices of self-writing and with intersubjective touching at the interface move discussions of digital media beyond the limiting Heideggerian frame of the properly human toward more thoroughgoing understandings of how technics repeatedly reenter the human, her past and present handwriting.

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October 4th, 2015

Jessica Pressman | The Posthuman Reader in Postprint Literature: Between Page and Screen

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse’s Between Page and Screen (2012) is an augmented reality book of poetry: a codex filled with QR (“Quick Response”) codes that activate a networked Internet connection to produce literature between the book’s pages and the reader’s computer screen. The work produces a mirror effect that depicts the human reader incorporated into the digital network that enables contemporary literature. This essay argues that Between Page and Screen‘s depiction of its human reader offers an opportunity to explore how digital literature complicates traditional, print-based expectations of reading by focusing on how we readers become posthuman along with our postprint literature.

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October 4th, 2015

Sara Rosa Espi | Vulnerability Disclosures: Zine Writing in the Age of New Media

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

In what is known as the digital age, the possibilities for self-publishing personal narratives are wider than ever before. At every turn there is an invitation to “share” what we are thinking in status updates, tweets, posts, and re-posts. In the giddy pace of this technological innovation, it may seem as if print-based modes of sharing, such as zine writing, are outdated, or even redundant. However, I will argue here that zines—as print publications—gain new significance in what N. Katherine Hayles, in Writing Machines, has termed our “contemporary media ecology.” Zine writers experiment with diverse visual, tactile approaches to expressing personal narrative through the paper body of the zine. Furthermore, personal zine writing offers a way for writers to create vulnerable disclosures with a limited circulation. In the context of increasing alarm about surveillance and security breaches online, this aspect of zine materiality becomes very significant.

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October 3rd, 2015

Paul John Eakin | Self and Self-Representation Online and Off

28.1 Writing the Self

Abstract

Has the Internet produced new forms of self-expression and even new kinds of selves? It has certainly promoted new forms of self-narration, notably brief, collective, and ephemeral. Identity formation, however, is more resistant to change; identity work proves to be not much different online than off because cultural imperatives for identity coherence operate equally in both environments. Narrative identity is the signature of that coherence. A deeply temporal and versatile technology, narrative is capable of contracting to satisfy daily digital interventions and of expanding to measure the life course that results from increased longevity.

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October 3rd, 2015