Contemporary Literature as Digital Literature - NeMLA 2016, Hartford, CT

full name / name of organization: 
Timothy Wilcox / Stony Brook University

Digital technology permeates the daily experience of life in the Western world - through shifting social relations owing to social media, the ability to search and store mass amounts of information, ever-increasing recording and broadcasting possibilities, and so on. Even in areas where cell phones and Internet access are absent, lives are still shaped by new forms of globalization building off possibilities - or new needs - opened up by digital technology. This panel seeks papers which examine the relationship between literature and digital technology. For decades writers have been working to imagine the effects of emerging or prospective technology, and in recent years things like Google searches have started to become common in narratives, though the possibilities such a tool opens have existed much longer. Accordingly, possible topics include how digital technology has been imagined in literature, how it has been suspiciously absent, the way writers try to make sense of these new phenomenological experiences, and so on. Papers may be examinations of the history of such writing, close examinations of specific problems and texts, or somewhere in between. Papers may also consider contemporary writing, including things like electronic literature, in relation to earlier texts. One possible set of considerations is: how digital technology is or is not heterogeneous, whose stories do or do not get told/read, and what possibilities this holds for this emerging history of digital narratives.

This panel will be part of the 2016 Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) convention, to be held in Hartford, CT from March 17-20, 2016.

Submissions go to:
The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30, 2015.