Steve Tomasula and the New Media Novel (Panel for EGO Oct 22-23, 2010)

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English Graduate Organization (EGO), Western Illinois University
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Steve Tomasula and the New Media Novel

Panel for 2010 EGO Conference, Humanities in the Digital Age
October 22-23, 2010, Macomb, Illinois
Deadline for proposals: September 1, 2010
Submit proposals to David Banash,
EGO site:

The novel exists and develops by using other forms. The earliest novels incorporated letters, diaries, and newspapers articles, but contemporary novelists can choose from a vast array of media, much of it based on codes or images that exceed language: the architecture and icons of the web, mathematical and scientific codes, the spectacle of film, television, or even the interactivity of video games. Indeed, the work of Steve Tomasula seems less the older model of the novel creating a totalizing form from disparate discourses and more like a remarkable unfolding in which the novel becomes a way to stage the horrors and potentials of these new media.

While Tomasula's _IN & OZ_ seems to be closer to the traditional form of a novel, _The Book of Portraiture_ might be better described as an Artist's Book. _VAS: An Opera in Flatland_ seems like a hypertext genealogy bound in skin—but it is crawling towards the web in a new "Cyborg Edition." _TOC: A New-Media Novel_ is a synthesis of all these tendencies, composed exclusively to be read interactively on a computer. Is it meaningful to call these novels? What does it mean to "read" these works? What does Tomasula's work suggest about the future of fiction and the form of the novel?

This panel seeks papers on any aspect of Steve Tomasula's work.