ACLA 2014-- Approaches to Comparative Media & Digital Culture (New York City)

full name / name of organization: 
ACLA -- American Comparative Literature Association

ACLA 2014 -- New York University
March 20-23, 2014

Approaches to Comparative Media and Digital Culture

Seminar Organizers:
Lai-Tze Fan (York University), Nico Dicecco (Simon Fraser University)


In recent years, there has been an increase in the presence and study of texts that are described as adapted, intermedial, and transmedial. The cultural reality that these terms attempt to address is fairly simple: while media forms and formats are often understood to be autonomous, digital media have lead to the proliferation of their intersections. The case is not that digital media made these intersections possible, just that the versatility of new technologies has made media convergence more commonplace. In How We Think: Digital Culture and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012), Katherine Hayles offers the umbrella term Comparative Media, under which multiple disciplines might come together to study shifts pursuant from the rise of networked and programmable machines.

This seminar invites papers exploring the potential of Comparative Media as a broad framework for investigating both the convergence and the dispersion of contemporary media forms, texts, and industries. What methods might we use to evaluate media interrelations in an age characterized by the rise of digital media? As an interdisciplinary perspective, how does the field of Comparative Media offer ways to comprehend media intersections and current conditions of textual production, distribution, and reception? Are new texts emerging that respond to the context of digital convergence?


Topics could include, but are not limited to:
- Intermediality, transmedia, convergence, remediation, adaptation, and multimodality
- Case studies of intersecting media – methods and aesthetics of comparative media
- Effects/affects of digital media on print, visual, and oral culture
Modes of reading across media

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Comparative Media, digital media, digital culture, adaptation, intermediality, convergence