Technology, Imagination, Narrative Forms
Edited by Lucia Esposito (University of Teramo), Alessandra Ruggiero (University of Teramo), Emanuela Piga (University of Cagliari – Bologna)
In the last decades, especially since the inception of digital literature, the impact of new technologies on narrative forms has been increasingly discussed: from George P. Landow’s seminal work on early hypertexts (1997) to Katherine Hayles’ s ruminations on how we write and think in posthuman times (2012). State of the art enquiries growingly consider the way in which texts interface with technologies in a continuous process of ‘remediation’ (i.e. the ‘refashioning’ of old media by new media – Bolter and Grusin, 2001), and the ‘radiant’ textualities (Jerome McGann, 2001) which are the outcome of this process, as well as the focus of a more ‘media-conscious’ narratology (see Marie-Laure Ryan, 2004; and 2014, forthcoming).
Taking into account the turning point represented, in the reflection on the interlacing of discourse and technology, by the birth of the Web 2.0, this issue of Between-Journal aims at proceeding along the route marked out by key theoretical works such as The Open Work by Umberto Eco (originally published in 1964, the same year in which Marshall McLuhan’s analyses, summed up in the sentence “the medium is the message”, became famous), Donna J. Haraway’s Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991), on the technologies and biopolitics of postmodern bodies, Pierre Levy’s Collective Intelligence (1994), later reworked as Connected Intelligence by Derrick de Kerckhove (1997). In the third millennium new paths are being explored around the idea of participatory culture – for example in Henry Jenkins’s Convergence Culture (2006) – and of creative audiences’ interactivity – for example in Manuel Castell’s Communication Power (2009), whose focus on reception, rearticulating Roman Jakobson’s communication model and its reworking by Umberto Eco (1994), aligns it with the theoretical trends of the last forty years. In Italy, Letteratura e Tecnologia, the second volume of the series Studi in onore di Remo Ceserani (ed. by P. Pellini), was published in 2003; more than ten years later, its enquiries into the relationship between imagination and material life are being given a new start based on the premises of new ‘convergences’ (see Ceserani 2009) between literature, art and technology. Lastly, the publication of this issue of Between-Journal will coincide with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Umberto Eco’s Apocalittici e integrati (partially translated as Apocalypse Postponed 1994), which was crucial for the evolution of the discussion about culture, media and industrial society.
Based on the assumption that those which seem to be the most debated themes are no more than the latest manifestations in a long history of interconnections between technology and literary and cultural narratives, the next issue of the journal intends to develop a critical reflection on these intertwining connections in a historical perspective. In particular, the discussion will develop around the ways in which different forms of creation and reception of cultural products (literature, theatre, cinema, music, figurative arts) have responded across the centuries to the invention and circulation of innovative, revolutionary and unconventional technological processes and products. Among the possible topics to be addressed are the thematic or metaphoric representations of new or futuristic technologies; the effect of changing methods of production and transmission of culture on the ways in which different sectors of society and different geographical areas read, write and get in touch with literary texts (including issues of accessibility, usability and preservation); the interaction between digital culture and ‘traditional’ literary forms (e.g. digital versions of classics, or the use of IT technologies to facilitate experimental narrative techniques); the growth of studies on digital culture and the impact of digital technology on contemporary academic practice.
Articles on the following issues will be evaluated:
- Literary adoption of technological models: the influence of technology on the reconfiguration of literary writing and/or on the relationship between literary writing and the oral tradition
- Intertwinings and contaminations between literature and visual technologies, words and images
- Technologies of memory
- Innovation of narrative forms and impact on society: authorship, new reception models, copyright
- Literary models in media storytelling and ‘remediations’
- Work of art reproducibility and rhetorics of connection: citation, reuse, parody, transmediality, criticism on the Web
- Impact of technologies and network protocols on narration: communities and Open source, collective writing and Fan fiction
- Reconfiguration of space and time in digital storytelling
- Technological imagination narratives
- Mapping of theories, practices, themes and forms of narration in the digital age
- Books without end or the end of books?
Proposals in languages other than Italian, and particularly in English, or bilingual versions (in Italian and another language) are highly appreciated and welcome.
The proposals (articles ready for publication and provided with abstracts) should be submitted by 30 August 2014 following the instructions available on the website. The authors of the articles selected for peer review will be notified by 30 September 2014. The finally accepted articles will be published by 30 November 2014.