Recent essays

Towards Buen Vivir

2017-04-24

In this review of The Power at the End of the Economy, Lestón delineates the theoretical apparatus of Massumi’s book and its possible implications.

Un/Official Worlds

2017-04-24

In this review of Mark Seltzer’s The Official World, Ulmer reflects on the interdependence of “the official” and “the unofficial” in contemporary constructs of reality. 

Love Your Corporation

2017-04-17
Analyzing the long and complex history of the term corporation, Turner explores the possibility that the term’s roots in the universitas might serve as a basis for a re-translation and re-valuation of the corporate concept and establish a ground, both discursive and practical, for a reassessment of the “political” as a process of imaginative transformation and collective action.

Ghostbusters 2.0

2017-04-17

If the 1984 Ghostbusters film can be read as an early foreshadowing of the neoliberal transformation of the United States of America, how might the film’s 2016 sequel be interpreted?  Ralph Clare reviews the new film in the context of his reading of the original in his 2014 book Fictions, Inc.

Academia.“edu”

2017-04-17

Investigating the question of whether academics should be concerned that Academia.edu is not an educational institution, Johannah Rodgers finds that the answers depend on your definition of “educational” and which parties you ask.  

 

A Digital Publishing Model for Publication by Writers (for Writers)

2017-04-17

How might literary databases be seen as alternatives to the commodification of academic scholarship in for profit, subscriber platforms?  Scott Rettberg and Joseph Tabbi discuss issues related to instrumentality, the global marketplace, and the digital humanities.

An Ontological Turn

2017-04-17

In this review of Mitchum Huehls’ After Critique, Smith situates Huehls’ “ontological approach” to the study of contemporary literature as arising from and standing in opposition to the “zombie plague” of neoliberalism.

The Economics of Book Reviews 

2017-04-17

In a review of the contemporary publishing marketplace in the U.S. and the many definitions of “corporate fiction,” Di Leo, editor of the American Book Review, offers some insights into the new economics of digital publishing and how ABR’s recent decision to partner with ProjectMuse ended the “online poaching” of the magazine’s content.

Precarity or Normalization? Yes, Please! A Review of Isabell Lorey’s State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious

2017-04-02

In this review, three social conditions of the Precarious (“precariousness, precarity, and (governmental) precarization”) are described. Furthermore, the neo-liberalist use of self-regulation as a means to exert control over individuals is exposed. The possibility to turn precarity into “a form of political mobilization,” as suggested by Lorey, is also explored.

Back to the Book: Tempest and Funkhouser’s Retro Translations

2017-04-02

Jeneen Naji describes Chris Funkhouser’s Press Again and Sonny Rae Tempest’s Famicommunist Poetics as examples of “the UnderAcademy style” begun by Talan Memmott. At the same time, within the context of post-digital publication, Naji explores concepts like “transcreation” and “translation” insofar as the two digital practitioners have conveyed experimental e-texts into print.

Digital Ekphrasis and the Uncanny: Toward a Poetics of Augmented Reality

2017-03-15

In this essay, Robert P. Fletcher demonstrates how, while putting together digital and print media affordances, augmented print may evoke in readers a sense of the uncanny. Fletcher also explains how works such as Amaranth Borsuk’s Abra (2014), Aaron A. Reed and Jacob Garbe’s Ice-Bound (2016) or Stuart Campbell’s Modern Polaxis (2014) seem to demonstrate the existence of a never-ending return of the “familiar” in electronic literature.

Debates in the Digital Humanities formerly known as Humanities Computing

2017-03-05

In a review that addresses (and exposes) the founding myth of the “digital humanities” (DH), formerly known as “humanities computing,” Roberto Simanowski and Luciana Gattass measure just how much the 99 articles collected by Mathew Gold and Lauren Klein have overturned “academic life as we know it.”

The New, New, New Philology

2017-02-05

In this review of Rethinking the New Medievalism, Matt Cohen ponders the significance of philology’s ongoing period of “reflection, […] refraction, and revisitation.” Against the backdrop of contemporary shifts in the humanities, more generally, Cohen sees opportunities for medievalists to intervene, bringing with them both clarity and innovation to fields in a state of fluctuation.

Aurature at the End(s) of Electronic Literature

2017-02-05

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now: How will our encounters with these intelligent personal assistants - robots we’ve invited into our homes to speak with and listen to us, who share this data with vectorialist institutions that monitor our networked transactions - alter both human language and our efforts to lead meaningful lives? In a wide-ranging, philosophical essay that exposes various myths of computation while presenting a candid assessment of the rapidly evolving culture of reading, poet John Cayley speculates that literature will be displaced by aurature. Listen up, readers: A major challenge in the programming era will be to develop linguistic aesthetic practices that intervene significantly and affectively in socio-ideological spaces thoroughly saturated with synthetic language that are largely controlled by commercial interests. The time for aesthetic experiments that disrupt the protocols of a still-nascent aurature is now.

Not a case of words: Textual Environments and Multimateriality in Between Page and Screen

2017-01-01

In this essay, Ortega departs from Ulises Carrión’s notion of book as a “spatio-temporal entity” which goes beyond verbal language, in order to demonstrate how hybrid works (or “textual environments”) such as Amaranth Borsuk’s Between Page and Screen (2012) may create “new genres and material and poetic expressiveness.” By drawing on Rita Raley’s “TXTual practice,” Ortega also demonstrates how the “material dynamics” displayed by these works decisively contributes to the generation of meaning.

Before Corporate Monoculture

2016-08-29

In this review of Henry Turner’s The Corporate Commonwealth, Thomas considers how Turner historicizes the term “corporatization” to explore its wide-ranging definitions and functions in early-modern England.