DEADLINE EXTENDED: Me Is Not Me In the Machine: The Precarity of Online Creative Writing Collaboration

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (Baltimore March 23-26, 2017)

In his three volume study of technological historicity, Technics and Time, Bernard Stiegler contends that contemporary culture is characterized by the incessant technological exteriorization of our interiors. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter sustain a constant and seemingly stable feed of our psychological maneuvers in a variety of media. But what happens when the words, photos, or sounds you just posted are subject to commentary, reframing, and sometimes deletion? This is precisely what occurs in online creative writing collaboration. Though creative collaboration is not new, recent writing programs such as Google Docs, Slack, and Git Hub highlight the virtual potential to reconfigure affect, thought, perception, and production, and to situate them in a collective moment. This panel investigates the unpredictability inherent to online collaboration, ultimately asserting that the improvisation, adaptation, and necessity to reconfigure one’s creative framework in the interface of digital variability is a process that invents the collaborator as the much as the collaborator invents it. More broadly, the precarity of the collective act reveals the importance of aestheticized modes of desubjectification, which according to Felix Guattari, draw attention to a generative ambiguity between the apprehension of the subject and that of the object. The panel will be guided by questions such as: What is creativity for posthumanity? How do the differences in technological and organic memory stimulate the creative act? How can a mnemotechnical consciousness contribute to the creative act? How does online collaboration rethink the sociocultural self? What is the speed of creativity? How does online collaboration affect creative time?