Stuart Moulthrop uses the lessons of hypertext as both an analogy and an explanation for why hypertext and its criticism will stay in a "niche" - and why, despite Bell's concern, that's not such a bad thing. As the response of an author to his critic, addressed to "thee," "implicitly dragging her into the niche with me," this review also dramatizes the very productivity of such specialized, nodal encounters.
Sean O'Sullivan explores numerous aspects of narrative and seriality in his examination of the HBO series Deadwood, created by David Milch. O'Sullivan argues that Deadwood often resists seriality's dictates and conventions by adhering to, amongst other structures, Aristotlelian dramatic principles that are by nature at odds with seriality's essence. This is but one example of the existence of an "internal constriction" that "pushes against some of the conventions of television serials by denying the very principle of expansiveness, of stretching out, inherently endorsed by a narrative that cannot be contained, whose sum exceeds our capacity to remember it."
Daniel Worden's riposte to Sean O'Sullivan's piece on Deadwood argues that O'Sullivan's "formalist account does not acknowledge... Deadwood's connection to a kind of historical necessity that governs not just the show's characters but also the very structure of the show as a historical drama about the West on late twentieth-century cable."
Christopher Douglas argues that within the fictional world of the popular online game World of Warcraft, race is not understood as being socially constructed, but rather as a biological fact, "composed of inherited, immutable, essential differences," and thus perpetuates the old-fashioned "notion that the outward packaging signifies an inner reality, where the differences are."
Marie-Laure Ryan argues that dysfunctionality in new media art is "not limited to play with inherently digital phenomena such as code and programs," and provides a number of alternative art examples, while also arguing that dysfunctionality "could [also] promote a better understanding of the cognitive activity of reading, or of the significance of the book as a support of writing."
Roderick Coover, Larry McCaffery, Lance Newman and Hikmet Loe explore the question of how desert ecologies are shaped through creative expression and actions. They consider, among others, how works by Edward Abbey, Robert Smithson and William T. Vollmann offer models for engaging ecological questions through writing and art.
R.M. Berry responds to Brian Lennon and Loren Glass by noting the crucial differences between the various forms of institutionalization that are endemic (or should be considered so) to their conversations on "The System."