Daniel Punday

Daniel Punday is Professor of English at Purdue University Calumet. He is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Five Strands of Fictionality: The Institutional Construction of Contemporary American Fiction. He works on narrative theory, contemporary fiction, and electronic textuality.

Essays by this author

A World in Numbers: A Review of Michael Joyce, Going the Distance


Joyce’s treatment of baseball in Going the Distance isn’t merely thematic, according to Punday, who believes that baseball (and its emphasis on numerical ordering) here represents the balance of the poetic and computational that defines Joyce’s electronic literature.

Looking for Writing after Postmodernism


House of Leaves may be on everyone’s shortlist of postmodern media-savvy novels, but are we ready for a retrospective collection of essays on Mark Z. Danielewski? According to Daniel Punday’s review, Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons’ collection says as much about the current state of (post) postmodernist writing as it does about Danielewski’s scant oeuvre.

After the Post


For Daniel Punday, Bernard Siegert’s historical materialism - a difficult synthesis of historical, literary, and institutional analysis - falls somewhere between Derrida and Foucault. But see also the review in ebr by historian Richard John, who considers Siegert in the line of Walter Ong, Elizabeth Eisenstein, and Harold Innis.

Texts and Tools


Bringing the queston of ‘textuality’ into the cyberdebates, and refusing the conservative oppostion between contemplative reading and gaming, Daniel Punday argues that critics should embrace spinoff culture as a model for electronic writing.

Middle Spaces: Media and the Ethics of Infinitely Demanding


Simon Critchley’s study of ethics has been prominently reviewed by literary and cultural theorists, though most treatments accept the premise that ethical relations are primarily among people, that ethics depends mainly on intersubjective relations. This review by Daniel Punday resituates “Infinitely Demanding” in a networked context, one that is constructed by “media, by global flows, and by the larger network swarms which themselves take on an identity.” For Punday, an ethics for our time is best found, not by the study of identities and localities, but rather by authors of contemporary fiction such as Jonathan Letham, Susan Daitch, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Cade Bambara.

Ebooks, Libraries, and Feelies


Countering the persistent popular notion that electronic literature is just reading the classics under glass, Daniel Punday advocates for greater innovation, and more authorial autonomy, at the level of book design. Insisting on “authors’ rights to design the interface through which readers encounter their books,” Punday argues that digital book publishing should strive to emulate the medial status of games, “which remain messy individuals.”