By N. Katherine Hayles

For the previous few hundred years, Western cultures have trusted print. while writing was once finished by way of a quill pen, inkpot, and paper, it used to be effortless to visualize that writing used to be not anything greater than a method in which writers may possibly move their options to readers. The proliferation of technical media within the latter 1/2 the 20th century has printed that the connection among author and reader isn't so uncomplicated. From telegraphs and typewriters to cord recorders and a sweeping array of electronic computing units, the complexities of communications expertise have made mediality a important difficulty of the twenty-first century.

Despite the eye given to the improvement of the media panorama, rather little is being performed in our educational associations to regulate. In Comparative Textual Media, editors N. Katherine Hayles and Jessica Pressman collect a powerful diversity of essays from top students to deal with the difficulty, between them Matthew Kirschenbaum on archiving within the electronic period, Patricia Crain at the connection among a child’s formation of self and the ownership of a e-book, and Mark Marino exploring tips on how to learn a electronic textual content now not for content material yet for strains of its underlying code.

Primarily arguing for seeing print as a medium in addition to the scroll, digital literature, and desktop video games, this quantity examines the capability changes if educational departments embraced a media framework. finally, Comparative Textual Media deals new insights that permit us to appreciate extra deeply the consequences of the alternatives we, and our associations, are making.

Contributors: Stephanie Boluk, Vassar collage; Jessica Brantley, Yale U; Patricia Crain, NYU; Adriana de Souza e Silva, North Carolina nation U; Johanna Drucker, UCLA; Thomas Fulton, Rutgers U; Lisa Gitelman, long island U; William A. Johnson, Duke U; Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, U of Maryland; Patrick LeMieux; Mark C. Marino, U of Southern California; Rita Raley, U of California, Santa Barbara; John David Zuern, U of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

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Lindbergh is not only the parent who suffered because Bruno Richard Hauptmann kidnapped and inadvertently killed his child but also the hero-pilot who failed to use his notoriety to move his culture toward a better world. My Name Is Captain, Captain. is not an easy work to understand (one of us [Hayles] has spent several hours with it without arriving at any clear grasp of its meaning), and Zuern uses an abductive method, drawing on his own experience with the work, to explore its complex interweaving of textual surfaces, animated effects, and multiple signifying codes (including letters, words, sentences, graphical images, animations, and Morse code).

But these practices are importantly live, enacted and decoded in the moment, and participants aspire to be part of that moment, to contribute to events as they unfold, rather than to be part of the permanent record. In this regard, these practices might in part be situated under the rubric of performance studies, much like the Electronic Disturbance Theater, which is known for its interventionist distributed denial-of-service attacks and announces its affiliation with performance in its very name.

The streaming of multiple messages makes stabilizing a singular voice impossible, the collective quality announced in the visual and verbal density of palimpsestic displays of text. And the signature of the individual author or artist then becomes displaced onto the design of the installation itself, particularly the construction of the site, the algorithms that manage text display, and the structures of participation. 2. Cityspeak, Victory Park Plaza, Dallas, Texas, June 2007. Courtesy of Jason Lewis, Obx Labs.

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