SEPTEMBER 2014: International seminar Zines and Ephemera at NICA with Sara Rosa Espi and Anna Poletti.
MAY 2014 (26-27): seminar with Jeffrey Schnapp of the Harvard Metalab at Utrecht University on Electronic Info Age Books
FEBRUARY 2014: Ravenstein seminar Materiality of Literature, with Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, Sara Rosa Espi, and Inge van de Ven: http://ravensteinseminar.wordpress.com
November 5 & 7 2012:
Talks with Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, Jessica Pressman, Jan Hein Hoogstad, Yra van Dijk at UU and UvA
November 7: Atelier Reinvention and Remediation. LIterature, Science, and Media Machines. Program:
14.00-14.45: Jan Hein Hoogstad (UvA): # Lost and Found in Space
15.00-15.45: Jessica Pressman (San Diego): Bookishness in a Digital Age
16.00-16.45: Yra van Dijk (UvA): Literature and Digital Media
17.00-17.45: Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (UU): Literature and the Posthuman in the Information Age: Thanatography
November 5: Comparative Literature Seminar at Utrecht University
I. Jessica Pressman: “Between Page and Screen, an Augmented-Reality Book, and What it Says about Books in the Digital Age”
Amaranth Borok and Brad Bouse’s Between Page and Screen (2012) is an augmented-reality book of poetry. Its title describes the actual, technical poetic it performs. Every page of this finely-made letterpress book contains a QR graphic, a black and white geometric pattern that references (for both human and machine readers) a website. To access the text, the reader must visit this website and hold the book up to the web-camera on her computer. An image of three-dimensional concrete poetry then appears in the space between the page and the screen. Between Page and Screen aestheticizes the media involved in producing its poetry as well as the connection between books and digital technologies, and it raises many questions about what we mean by “text,” “literature,” and “reading.” Specifically, this work provides an opportunity to confront and appreciate the fact that the book— that older literary medium—is dying in our digital age but is also experiencing a renaissance. In this talk, I present Between Page and Screen as exemplary of a larger phenomenon in contemporary literature, what I call “bookishness,” wherein book-bound, experimental literature shows how the codex can become newly relevant for a digital age. This particular example of bookishness presents actual projected verse via the codex in order to expose the book to be a reading machine that, rather than standing in opposition to digital technology, is purposefully connected to the Internet and its networked reading practices.
II Kiene Brillenburg Wurth: ‘Monuments to the Past, Monuments to the Book: Fabulated Histories in the Photo Novellas of Kahn/Selesnick’
Today, a lot of authors and artists are creating monuments to the book—the book as it was, as it never was, or as it may be: minimal, giant, folded, in a box, or simply bound. In a time when the digital media and the information age are said to herald a new aesthetics of creative destruction (including the destruction of the literary as a historical discipline), artists-writers like Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn have reshaped the novel into a monumental, intermedial medium that leads back to the illuminated manuscripts of William Blake. In their huge works that are as much a tribute to the literary as to analog photography, and the panorama, Selesnick and Kahn present feigned histories: simulated documentaries about lost or forgotten heroes who traveled and attempted the impossible. In my presentation, I show how works like Circular River or Flights and Wartime, both from the later 1990s, reshape and reinvent a nineteenth-century aesthetics of the book and of photography, and how they thus counter the aesthetics of creative destruction that critics like Alan Liu have been speculating upon since the mid-2000s. They create a particular historicity, not just in their narratives but also of the medium of the book itself. How does the photo novella mediate imaginary memories—cultural or shared as memories in the very material, ‘kitschy’ aesthetics of Circular River and Flights and Wartime? Does their aesthetics of ‘kitsch’ meaningfully counter Liu’s aesthetics of ‘cool’?
Funded by NWO and the Changing Literacies Platform of the Cultures and Identities Research Group at Utrecht University, in cooperation with OSL and Wintertuin, the symposium Book Presence in a Digital Age will take place at Utrecht University, May 28-30, 2012.
Stijlkamer, Janskerkhof 13 (May 28), Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, (May 29 and May 30).
Start: Monday May 28, 09.30.
NB Admission is free – the conference is open to all – but lunches and dinners are for participants only. Please note that seating availability in Janskerkhof is limited.
This conference is devoted to books as bodies of literature and self-writing in a digital age. If books have been marginalized by screens, pads, and other book-imitators, what is happening to literature as a paper art form? How have books and papers been re-imagined in the last decades in a creative contrast to electronic screens? How, in turn, have these screens sought to imitate the materiality and intimacy of the paper page?
May 28: day 1 Janskerkhof 13, Stijlkamer
Session 1. Chair: Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (UU)
10.00-10.55 Simon Morris (book artist): eating the book
11.00-11.55 Brian Dettmer (book artist): work presentation
12.00-13.15 Lunch (for participants)
13.20-14.10 Documentary, including discussion time
Session 2. Chair: Sara Rosa Espi (UU)
14.15-15.10 Thomas Ledru (Montpellier, zine maker & researcher): work presentation
15.15-16.10 Anna Poletti (Monash University, zine researcher): Genre and materiality: autobiography and zines
Session 3. Chair: Birgit Kaiser (UU)
16.35-17.05: Kiene Brillenburg (UU): Towards a Minor Literature: Media Divergence and the Reinvention of the Literary
17.10-17.40: Sara Rosa Espi (UU): Chacing Ephemera: Notes From a Paper Trail
17.45-18.15: Inge van de Ven (UU):Taking the Senses Beyond Book Nostalgia: Affective Literacy and Hybrid Novels
18.20 Dinner Reception in Janskerkhof 13
May 29: day 2 Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal
09.00: opening words by the Dean, prof dr Wiljan van den Akker (UU)
Session 1. Chair: Frans-Willem Korsten (Radboud/Leiden)
09.30-10.25 Jessica Pressman (Yale University): Bookishness in Contemporary Print Literature
10.30-11.25 Yra van Dijk (University of Amsterdam): Authenticity or Irony: Handwriting in Poetry
Session 2. Chair: Barnita Bagchi (UU)
11.50-12.45 Leah Price (Harvard University): Reading, social and antisocial
Lunch (Drift 21, for participants) 12.45-13.30
Session 3. Chair: Jeroen Salman (UU)
13.35-14.30 Jeffrey Schnapp (Harvard University): The Book After the Book: the history of experimental “remediations” of the book since the first cybernetic age
14.35-15.30 Harald Hendrix (UtrechtUniversity): Early Modern Print Culture as a Multidirectional Phenomenon
Session 4. Chair: Liedeke Plate (Radboud)/Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University)
15.55-16.50 Rosemarie Buikema (Utrecht University): to be announced
16.55-17.50 Garrett Stewart (University of Illinois): Booked Up: On the Arts of Abuse and Reuse
17.55-18.25 drinks for participants and presentation of special guest Martijn Brugman
Drinks. End day 2.
May 30: day 3 Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal
Session 1. Chair: Susanne Knittel (UU)
09.00-09.55 Lisa Gitelman (New York University): Against Print
10.00-10.55 Helen Tartar (Fordham University Press): to be announced
Session 2. Chair: Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (UU)
11.15-12.10 Susan Bielstein (Chicago University Press): HOW QUICK THE BOOK
12.15-13.10 George Landow (Brown University): Moving the Scholarly Book into E-space — successes and failure
Lunch break 13.10-14.10
Session 3. Chair: Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (UU)
14.15-15.10 Jacob Edmond (University of Otago): The Iterations of the Book
15.15-16.10 John Hamilton (Harvard University): Philology of the Flesh
Session 4. Chair: Garrett Stewart (Illinois)
16.35-17.30 Peter Lunenfeld (UCLA): Mia Laboro: Maker’s Envy and the Generative Humanities
188.8.131.52 Doug Beube (book artist): Biblioclast: Breaking the Codex
19.00: Drinks & Conference dinner for participants in Utrecht (location Restaurant Des Arts)
The conference has been organized around nine central concepts:
Analog: analog “versus” digital, analog as being (re)produced through the digital.
Aura: presence of objects here and now, the experience of subjects to such objects.
Authenticity: history and physical presence of objects (books, manuscripts, etc).
Bookness: thingness of the book – physically, historically, and culturally.
Hybridity: multimedial assemblage: books, zines, texts as Gesamtkunst.
Materiality: foregrounded palpability of literary texts, “haptic” reading.
Palimpsest: layered textuality (material or metaphorical), erasure texts.
Singularity: unique material presence of book objects (book art, special editions, etc).
Words, love of words: design, reading, words come flesh, new philologies.
ABSTRACTS (in alphabetical order)
Biblioclast: Breaking the Codex
Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate
HOW QUICK THE BOOK
Everyone is concerned about the viability of the printed codex, but what are the prospects for the long-term survival of the ebook? Still a fledgling, the ebook faces many challenges and obstacles in the global commodity culture, chief among them the growing monopolies in sales and distribution.
Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate.
Kiene Brillenburg Wurth
Towards a Minor Literature: Media Divergence and the Reinvention of the Literary
In Henry Jenkins’ theory of media convergence, convergence and divergence are two sides of the same coin: convergence shows how media merge and interact, while divergence shows how their uses are being redistributed. With respect to convergence, divergence is thus basically ‘more of the same’: different media performing the same, or similar functions. Yet ‘more of the same’ discards an important dimension of divergence as a concept and also of media relations in the present: deviation and difference. In this paper I re-assess divergence as such a differential concept in relation to – what I consider – reinventions of the literary in the last decades. I focus on ‘dysfunctional’ literatures; literatures that resist easy reading or even any reading at all, and that as such foreground their analog materiality as a figural contrast to “the digital.” Thus, I analyze the materiality of handwriting as a graphic and an embodied mode in the work of Louise Paillé and Zachary Sifuentes: a writing that is addressed towards the body, but also presents itself as the trace of a somatic specificity. While we may be inclined to approach these works as instances of demediation (Garrett Stewart), I instead propose to consider them as instances of a minor literature that still revolves very much around reading: they show us the record of a reading and, at the same time, compels us to read differently. Format: a 20-minute talk, a 10-minute debate
Presents his work as an author and zine maker.
In this lecture I talk about my artwork, its origins, the concepts behind it and the process that makes it possible. I begin with images of work I was doing in college, paintings of codes and language systems that began incorporating book pages, and explain how this evolved into working with books as a sculptural material. I will discuss ideas about the history and the future of the book, and the position we are in now that most of our information is stored and received in digital formats. I also discuss how working with books has made me consider other media that no longer have the position of power once had. Maps, cassette tapes, records and VHS videos have all taken a new role in the past decade or so and the materials and content we are left with have been areas of exploration in my work. I discuss the practical and conceptual consequences of our situation with books and how my work is a metaphor for the way we remember, the way we record and tell stories, the way technology evolves and the way we have evolved to make sense of the world. Format: 40-minute presentation and a 15-minute debate
Yra van Dijk
Authenticity or Irony: handwriting in poetry
Digital literature emphasizes its own medium, and brings to the foreground the graphic, material aspects of language. Experiments with the new medium and with the form of language are generally presented and interpreted within a framework of the historical avant-garde. This paper aims to take a new perspective on the materiality of language in the digital medium, and on handwriting in particular.
By comparing handwriting in poetic digital work with handwriting in contemporary print poetry, I hope to show that questions of authenticity and presence are foregrounded and problematized in both, through the spectral ‘absent presence’ of the writing hand. This paradoxical merging of presence and absence makes these forms of literature into an expression of an ambivalent stance regarding representation of the ‘real’. Complicity with the media culture goes hand in hand with an ironic approach of the mediatedness of the world and the body. Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute talk.
The Iterations of the Book
How can repetition serve simultaneously as an assertion of sameness and difference, of absence and presence? This paper asks a question that in various forms has shaped the discourse of modernity and that is implicitly posed once again in the title of the conference and of the “Back to the Book” project of which it is a part.
The paper follows the stated aims of the conference in examining new re-imaginings of books in the context of media plurality in our digital age. But it contests the view that these re-imaginings take place primarily through a renewed stress on the book’s materiality.
In our digital age, the book is often seen as resisting the immateriality and inauthenticity of the digital text through its “aura,” “singularity,” “authenticity,” “materiality,” and “bookness”––to cite five of the conference’s nine central concepts. Even book versions that sit alongside versions in other media––what Marjorie Perloff terms “differential texts”––seem to stress the differences between media and so each medium’s materiality.
Yet in the most interesting new poetic practices of our digital age, the book becomes a site for exploring reproduction and iteration in ways that draw into question the received notions of medium and materiality upon which conventional accounts of the return of the book are based. These iterative poetic practices, as I term them, are preoccupied with the dual role of the book as both material object and copy, building on a similar preoccupation in the work of various modernists––from Walter Benjamin to Gertrude Stein. Spanning paper, digital, and other media, the works of writers such as Caroline Bergvall, Kenneth Goldsmith, Simon Morris, Vanessa Place, Dmitri Prigov, and Nick Thurston challenge the commonplace contrast between the singularity of the print and paper book object and the repeatability and mutability of the digital text. In so doing, they place the book at the heart of the problem of system and instantiation, repetition and insistence in the philosophy of modernity. Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate
Sara Rosa Espi
Chasing Ephemera: Notes From a Paper Trail
Format: a 20-minute talk, a 10-minute debate
Against ‘Print Culture’
Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate
Philology of the Flesh
The ancient competition between skin and paper (parchment and papyrus) for the production of books cannot be restricted to material or economic concerns. Rather, with the emergence of early Christian metaphors, the realization of the Word (logos) specifically as “flesh” (sarx) broaches crucial questions about methods of reading, interpretation and the presence of the page. Whereas the “body” (soma) is amenable to any number of symbolic incorporations, the flesh appears to precede or even resist such absorptions or assumptions. The orthodox doctrine of the “resurrection of the flesh” is here considered as a philological method that respects the sarctic nature of the inscribed word, a method that prevents slippage into definitive meaning. A “philology of the flesh” outlines how one might approach a text not as a body to be incorporated into the reader’s understanding but rather as bare flesh that invites infinite touching, a sensitive abrasion of the surface that renounces semantic depth. Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate.
Early Modern Print Culture as a Multidirectional Phenomenon
In the early decades of the sixteenth century, when in Italy print culture took off as a new industry aimed at profitable mass production, some of the major protagonists in this media shift started to experiment with the manufacturing of highly individualised, artful and unusually well-crafted books, not only in print but also in manuscript. The fact that this occurred particularly amongst those authors who had profited most from the recent media revolution indicates that such a return to apparently gone-by techniques cannot be interpreted as a nostalgic move. Focusing on three cases – handpainted illuminations of printed texts by Petrarch and Ariosto, Aretino’s project to publish his letters in a luxury format, and Doni’s production of illustrated manuscripts – this paper intends to explore early modern print culture as a multidirectional phenomenon, where the combination of new techniques, new audiences and new types of authors fostered a climate of intense experimentation, both backward and forward looking. Format 40 minute presentation, 15 minute debate.
Moving the Scholarly Book into E-space — successes and failure
“Mia Laboro: Maker’s Envy and the Generative Humanities”
I suffer from maker’s envy. A critic and theorist, I watch artists, designers, architects and programmers as they give their endlessly iterative talk, the talk that only ever needs one name: “My Work.” I will fill my allotted time (and yours, should you choose to commit) with an exorcism of this envy, via a hybrid lecture/demo, a performative investigation of theory as practice. I will exhume two decades of contributions to print+ culture. Topics will include the perils of transmediation, doing theory with back-up dancers, the academic as producer, and how to treat essays as media scripts. Design affordances will be introduced, maps will be augmented, machine translation will be deployed, the names of Johns Berger and Baldessari will be dropped, music will be sampled, sites will be accessed, and apps will be demoed. Warning: there will be Esperanto.Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate
Eating the book
Morris will present three of his bookworks that challenge conventional methods of reading and writing; The Royal Road to the Unconscious (2003); Re-writing Freud (2005); and Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head (2010). Morris has been called ‘philosophically irresponsible’, a ‘literary pervert’ and an ‘inspired lunatic’. He founded the publishing imprint ‘information as material’ in 2002 which has subsequently become the world’s largest publisher of uncreative literature.
Genre and materiality: autobiography and zines
A common approach to reading zines is to treat them as subcultural texts, existing in an enclave of youth culture, circulating in economies driven by strong ideological commitments (feminism, anti-capitalism, the legacies of the punk diy ethic) and the desire for community. However what if we were to read the rise of personal zines as part of the larger cultural fascination with the autobiographical? In this presentation, I take up the question of media divergence proposed as a theme of this symposium, and examine zines as one of many sites contributing to the cultural prominence of the production and consumption of autobiographical narratives. Reading zines from this perspective will illuminate how the materiality of the zine form produces specific opportunities for autobiography that are complementary to and diverge from the explosion of life narrative in broadcast media, mainstream publishing, and online. In their hybridity and materiality, zines produce encounters between readers and objects that materialise a number of the textures specific to autobiographical storytelling, and it is this strong overlap between the autobiographical and the material that will be the focus of discussion. Through this approach I invite discussion of how examining the intersections of materiality and genre may be a means of progressing our understanding of the persistence of the material in the age of the digital. Format: a 40-minute presentation and a 15-minute debate
Bookishness in Contemporary Print Literature
“Bookishness” describes anartistic practice of figuring the book as an aesthetic object rather than a medium for information transmission. It is an extension of what Garrett Stewart calls “bookwork,” and it pervades contemporary print and digital literature. In this talk, I argue that bookishness expresses and mediates the threat of the codex’s impending obsolescence and serves to facilitate an increasingly digital existence. I examine a few examples of bookbound bookishness and, through them, conclude that bookishness is good for literature and also for literary studies. Format: 15 minute presentation (with slides), 40-minute debate
Reading, social and antisocial
Commentators today frequently use the scene of solitary print reading as a benchmark against which to measure the supposedly more social nature of digital reading. This paper describes some institutions and conventions of print culture that makes the book a vector not simply for an author’s relationship with readers, but for one reader’s relationship with other readers. Ranging from the subscription list to the public library card, a series of print genres may provide models for new ways of conceptualizing relationships forged among different users of the same text, whether or not they inhabit the same time and space. Format: 30-minute presentation, 25 minute debate
The Book After the Book: the history of experimental “remediations” of the book since the first cybernetic age. Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate.
Booked Up: On the Arts of Abuse and Reuse
With a glance at the latest developments not just in e-books but in cryptographic computer “reading” and the retooled future of the book in a technoculture of “augmented reality,” this paper (itself a term on the way out?) will concentrate on the work of conceptual book sculptors in refiguring the mental space of reading through the material carving, mounding, or incineration of its once dominant and now almost vestigial platform, the bound cellulose codex. Format: 40-minute presentation, 15-minute debate
Inge van de Ven Taking the Senses Beyond Book Nostalgia: Affective Literacy and Analog Hybrid Novels
Format: a 20-minute talk, a 10-minute debate
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS (in alphabetical order)
Through altered bookwork, collage mixed media and sculpture, my work explores the book itself, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age. The codex, which literally means a block of wood in Latin, is undeviating in its essential form; its fixity is antithetical to the capabilities of the computer to function on a synergetic and simultaneous plane. Although the codex, compared with computers, is undeniably limited in its capacity to store, perpetuate, generate and recreate information, I accept these boundaries. (I’m not referring to the paginated works of artists’ books; that is an entirely different category that has flourished with various software programs; artists’ books remain an open-ended medium.) I apply quasi-software functions such as cutting, pasting and hidden text onto an analog system; it does not work it cannot. The codex is intractable as a technology; restricted from interacting with it by not altering its inevitable course, you read linearly from beginning to end. It is essentially inflexible. That is its built-in personality flaw; that is its elegance.
Susan Bielstein is the executive editor for art, architecture, and ancient studies at the University of Chicago Press, where she publishes twenty to twenty-five books a year, in both conventional and electronic formats. (She is currently developing her first “app.”) In a career spanning thirty years, she has been privileged to work with a host of distinguished scholars, artists, and writers—from Leo Steinberg and Garrett Stewart to Cartier-Bresson and Errol Morris. Long concerned with freedom of expression and with how legal systems impact culture, she authored a book about art as intellectual property that was published by the Press in 2006. She has contributed essays to Art Journal, CAA News, Visual Resources, and a range of exhibition catalogues. Articles are forthcoming in Cinema Journal and with the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. For this conference, she wants to consider whether or not the ebook will survive and who is in charge of the situation.
Kiene Brillenburg Wurth is associate professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Utrecht and project leader of the VIDI-project Back to the Book (2011-2016) funded by the Dutch Research Council. During the academic year 2010-2011, she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University with the Department of Comparative Literature. Kiene’s research focuses on: literature and (new) media; music; aesthetic theory; intermediality in the modern and post-modern ages. She is the author of Musically Sublime. Infinity, Indeterminacy, Irresolvability (Fordham UP, 2009), and (with Ann Rigney) Het leven van teksten. Een Inleiding in de literatuurwetenschap (Amsterdam UP, 2006, 2008) used throughout the Netherlands. She is editor of Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature Through Cinema and Cyberspace (Fordham/Oxford UP 2012) and, with Sander van Maas, of Liminal Auralities (under contract with Fordham/Oxford UP). With David Pascoe, she is preparing a volume on intermedial satire entitled The Masks of Satire. She has published widely in peer reviewed journals and volumes. Her forthcoming monograph is entitled Back to the Book.
Rosemarie Buikema is professor of Art, Culture and Diversity, Utrecht University. She is the scientific director of the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University, the Utrecht coordinator of GEMMA, the Erasmus Mundus joint degree in Gender and Women’s Studies in Europe and the scientific director of the Netherlands Research School of Genderstudies (NOG). Rosemarie has worked as a visiting professor at the University of Western Cape, the University of Cape Town and the Charles University in Prague. Her publications are on the interface of Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Gender Studies and include: Theories and Methodologies in Postgraduate Feminist Research. Researching Differently. Routledge, New York and London, 2011 (ed. with Gabrielle Griffin and Nina Lykke); Doing Gender in Media Art and Culture. Routledge, London, 2009 (ed. with Iris van der Tuin) ; From Boys to Men. Masculinities at Risk. University of Cape Town Press: Cape Town, 2007 (ed.with Tammy Shefer and Kopano Ratele); Het heilige huis. De gotieke vertelling in de Nederlandse literatuur. (Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, 2006: 128 pp. (Wales UP, 2010 forthcoming) (with Lies Wesseling).
Brian Dettmer is originally from Chicago. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA. Brian Dettmer is known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and other forms of antiquated media. Dettmer has had solo shows in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Barcelona. His work has been exhibited throughout North America and Europe at galleries and museums including the Museum of Arts and Design (NY), Museum of Contemporary Art (GA), the International Museum of Surgical Science (IL), and Museum Rijswijh (Netherlands) among many others. Dettmer’s work has gained International acclaim through internet bloggers, and traditional media. His work has been featured on the CBS Evening News, The New York Times (US), The Los Angeles Times (US), The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK) Chicago Tribune (US), The Age (AU), Art News, Modern Painters, Wired, The Village Voice, Harper’s, Esquire and National Public Radio among others.In 2012 he is scheduled to have a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia which will travel to museums and libraries across the U.S. in 2013. Dettmer’s current solo show is up now at the University Library in Maribor, Slovenia as part of its celebration as the 2012 European Capital of Culture.
Yra van Dijk is assistant professor at the department of Dutch literature, and literary critic at the national newspaper NRC Handelsblad. In 2010-2011 she was a research scholar at the University of California, at the Centre for Research in Computing and the Arts in San Diego ( http://www-crca.ucsd.edu ). She worked on three publications concerning electronic literature, more specifically on the poetics of digital literature. For more information on this collaborative research project: http://elmcip.net/. She has a column on digital poetry in the literary quarterly ‘ Awater’. Apart from digital literature her focus has been on modern poetry. Leegte die ademt [Blanks that Breath], the book-edition of her PHD-thesis, appeared in 2006, and is concerned with the meaning of typographic blanks in the modern poem. An English publication on the subject is forthcoming. A link to an English publication on the blanks in digital poetry is underneath. There you can also find a link with some Dutch digital poetry in translation. Other recent research and teaching hasbeen on ethics and the Holocaust in the contemporary novel. With Thomas Vaessens she has co-edited the volume Reconsiderations. The European Novel beyond postmodernism.
Jacob Edmond is senior lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Otago. He is author of A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, forthcoming June 2012), editor (with Henry Johnson and Jacqueline Leckie) of Recentring Asia: Histories, Encounters, Identities (Brill / Global Oriental, 2011), and editor and translator (with Hilary Chung) of Yang Lian’s Unreal City: A Chinese Poet in Auckland (Auckland University Press, 2006). His articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, The China Quarterly, the Slavic and East European Journal,and Russian Literature. He has also edited special issues of the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies and Landfall (with Gregory O’Brien, Evgeny Pavlov, and Ian Wedde). He is currently working on a book entitled After the Original: Iterative Poetics and Global Culture.
Sara Rosa Espi is a Phd-student at Utrecht University, within the VIDI project Back to the Book under the supervision of Kiene Brillenburg Wurth. She completed her MA in International Performance Research with distinction. In Back to the Book, she focuses on personal zines, how they are made, circulated, and kept, and what that tells us about our contemporary (media) culture in transition.
Lisa Gitelman is a media historian whose research concerns American print culture, techniques of inscription, and the new media of yesterday and today. She is particularly concerned with tracing the patterns according to which new media become meaningful within and against the contexts of older media. Her most recent book is entitled Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture and was published by the MIT Press in 2006. Current projects include a monograph, “Making Knowledge with Paper,” and an edited collection,”‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” She holds a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University and is a former editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University. She joins Steinhardt after teaching atHarvardUniversity and at The Catholic University of America.
John Hamilton is Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He has held previous positions in Comparative Literature, German, and Classics at New York University and the University of California-Santa Cruz, with visiting fellowships at the Institute for Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition (University of Bristol), the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (Berlin), and the Wissenschaftskolleg (Berlin). Publications include Soliciting Darkness: Pindar, Obscurity and the Classical Tradition (2004), Music, Madness and the Unworking of Language (2008), and Security: Politics, Humanity and the Philology of Care (2012).
Harald Hendrix is full professor and chair of Italian Studies as well as head of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Utrecht. Within the Utrecht Research Institute for History and Culture he leads the group on Textual Culture. He is president of the Dutch-Flemish Society for Italian Studies and a founding member of the international research group Cinquecento Plurale.
With a combined background in Cultural History, Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, Harald Hendrix has published widely on the European reception of Italian Renaissance and Baroque culture (Traiano Boccalini fra erudizione e polemica, Olschki, 1995), on the early-modern aesthetics of the non-beautiful as well as on literary culture and memory. He is currently preparing a book on the cultural history of writers’ houses in Italy, from Petrarch to the present day.
Recent publications include Writers’ Houses and the Making of Memory (Routledge, 2008; paperback 2012), Autorità, modelli e antimodelli nella cultura artistica e letteraria fra Riforma e Controriforma (with Antonello Corsaro and Paolo Procaccioli; Vecchiarelli, 2007), Officine del nuovo (with Paolo Procaccioli; Vecchiarelli, 2008), Dynamic Translations in the European Renaissance (with Philiep Bossier and Paolo Procaccioli; Vecchiarelli, 2011), and The Turn of the Soul. Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature (with Lieke Stelling and Todd Richardson; Brill, 2011).
George Landow is Professor of English and Art History at Brown University. He is one of the leading authorities on Victorian literature, art, and culture, as well as a pioneer in criticism and theory of Electronic literature, hypertext and hypermedia. He is also the founder and current webmaster of The Victorian Web, The Contemporary, Postcolonial, & Postimperial Literature in English web, and The Cyberspace, Hypertext, & Critical Theory web. Professor Landow has published extensively on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, specifically the life and works of William Holman Hunt and John Ruskin. Furthermore, Landow’s articles and books are of some importance to studies on the effects of digital technology on language. Landow discusses the effects of electronic media on literature, creating a plausible link with critics such as Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Paul de Man, and Michel Foucault, among others. This places him in a slightly different position on issues such as “the end of books” through the prophetic and “futurologic” view often taken by critics regarding new media and literature. Landow is a well-known author, researcher and one of the most important thinkers concerning Hypermedia and Hypertext in academia. His most important works highlight the epistemological modifications which result from the migration between systems of “closed” authorial publication (such as books), to the “open” systems, such as the hypertext and hypermedia.
Peter Lunenfeld is a professor in the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA. His publications include: Digital Humanities: Theory in Practice, forthcoming in 2012. The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine, 2011. USER: InfoTechnoDemo (MIT, 2005). Snap to Grid: A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media & Cultures (MIT, 2000). The Digital Dialectic: New Essays on New Media (MIT, 1999).
He is creator and editorial director of the multi-award-winning Mediawork project, a pamphlet series for the MIT Press which redefined the relationship between serious academic discourse and graphic design, and between book publishing and the World Wide Web. These “theoretical fetish objects” cover the intersections of media, art, design and technology. The pamphlets have been discussed everywhere from the New York Review of Books to Entertainment Weekly, and have won awards for both writing and design. Lev Manovich, lauded these 100+ page “mind bombs” as “a new operating system for the book.”
His current research interests are taking him deeper into questions about new modes of knowledge formation that go beyond print, the design of the digital humanities, and the centrality of meaning making to digital culture. He has held fellowships at the Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall inParis, and in the Vectors program at theUSCAnnenbergCenter.
Simon Morris is a conceptual writer and teacher. He understands his role as an artist is to create a theoretical space that others feel comfortable working in and to erase his own ego in order to stimulate desire in others. Morris works to create a space of transference where linking and connecting can take place – a shared space of encounter wherein non-meaning allows the reader to construct their own meaning – and has engaged extensively with models of collaboration, digital technologies, performance writing, psychoanalysis and art history, though he describes his engagement with all such areas as being “poetic rather than logical.” He is the author of numerous experimental books, including bibliomania (1998); interpretation [vol. I & II] (2002); The Royal Road to the Unconscious (2003); and Re-Writing Freud (2005). He is an occasional curator and a regular lecturer on contemporary art, and also directed the documentary films sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith (2007) and making nothing happen: Pavel Büchler (2010).
Anna Poletti is assistant professor at Monash University. Her research focuses on:
Autobiography – I am interested in narratives of self and self-making in both literary and popular forms. My recent work has examined formal experimentation in autobiographical texts such as zines and documentary. A current research project, with Dr Kate Douglas (Flinders), examines autobiographical practice by young people across two centuries. Feminist Literary Theory – I am interested in feminist theorising of the role of narrative in consciousness raising, and the formation and maintenance of communities. Print Culture – An ongoing research interest is in the role of affect and materiality in the circulation of autobiographical narratives. My work theorises the increasing movement of narratives of self across mediums – from the handmade to the digital and the professionally published – drawing on feminist literary theory and autobiography theory. Her books include: Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture (2008).
Jessica Pressman researches and teaches twentieth- and twenty-first century experimental American literature, digital literature, and media theory. Her book Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media is under contract with Oxford University Press. She is co-writing, with Mark C. Marino and Jeremy Douglass, Close Reading Electronic Literature, a Case Study: Intersecting Approaches to Code, Content, and Cartographies in “William Poundstone’s “Project for the Tachistoscope: [Bottomless Pit]” (under contract with Iowa University Press) and co-editing, with N. Katherine Hayles, a collection on comparative textual media (under contract with Minnesota University Press). She is currently at work on a project that examines the fetishization of the book medium in contemporary literary culture. Jessica was recently honored with an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship for her work with Marino and Douglass. http://jessicapressman.commons.yale.edu.
Leah Price is Professor of English and Chair of the History & Literature program at Harvard University. She teaches the novel, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British culture, narrative theory, gender studies, and the history of books and reading. Price is Humanities Program Director at the Radcliffe Institute; she also co-directs the faculty seminar on the History of the Book at the Harvard Humanities Center. In 2006 Price was awarded a chair in recognition of exceptional graduate and undergraduate teaching. Price’s books include The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel and (co-edited with Pamela Thurschwell) Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture; she has also edited (with Seth Lerer) a special issue of PMLA on The History of the Book and the Idea of Literature. She writes on old and new media for the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, and the Boston Globe. Unpacking my Library: Writers and their Books is just out from Yale University Press; How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain is forthcoming from Princeton in spring 2012. Price’s next project, Reading for Life, explores the function of books in the digital age.
Before moving to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Humanities Lab in 2000. A cultural historian with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books are The Electric Information Age Book (a collaboration with the designer Adam Michaels of Project Projects (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), and Italiamerica II (Il Saggiatore, 2012), co-edited with Emanuela Scarpellini. Also forthcoming in 2012 are Digital_Humanities (MIT Press), a book co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner, and Modernitalia (Peter Lang), a collection of essays on 20th century Italian cultural history, edited by Francesca Santovetti.
His pioneering work in the domains of digital humanities and digitally augmented approaches to cultural programming includes curatorial collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the CantorCenterfor the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the CanadianCenterfor Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project — a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum– was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale and at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE. Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall-winter 2011).
Faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, he is Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and also on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is the faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard.
Garrett Stewart has taught fiction, film, and textual theory at the University of Iowa since 1993. Pursuing always a methodology of close-grained verbal or visual analysis—in books on language in Dickens (1974), the death scene in British fiction (1984), the phonetic undertow of literary writing from Shakespeare to Woolf (1990), and the “Dear Reader” address of Victorian novels (1996)—Stewart was led by that last topic to a subsequent study of the scene of reading in painting, from saints with books in illuminated manuscripts through Rembrandt to Picasso and Francis Bacon. In approaches to the moving rather than the still image, his 1999 investigation into the “photogrammar” of traditional cinema was brought up to date in 2007 by a companion volume on the new digital conditions of screen narrative, Framed Time: Toward a Postfilmic Cinema. In 2009, Novel Violence: A Narratography of Victorian Fiction, awarded the Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative, named in its subtitle the method of this and the previous film book, searching out the “microplots” of narrative development in the inflections of technique, audiovisual or linguistic. Since then, concentrating on the conceptual violence done to rather than in books, Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art (2011) follows up on the 2-D image of reading with a close look at the ironies of illegibility in conceptual book sculpture, whether in found, altered, or fabricated volumes, engaging again with the digital epoch on another front: its rapid transformation of the reading experience. Stewart’s work on cinema continues in regular reviewing for Film Quarterly. He was elected in 2010 to theAmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences.
Inge van de Ven is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History and Culture (OGC) of Utrecht University. In 2010 she completed the RMA Literary Studies: Literature in the Modern Age (cum laude) at Utrecht University. She studied philosophy at Tilburg University.
In her Master’s thesis, supervised by Prof. dr. Rosemarie Buikema and titled The Literary Work as Stranger: The Disrupting Ethics of Defamiliarization and the Literariness of Literature, she reflects on the state of the art of literature in the contemporary academic climate, in a quest for its unique characteristics at a time when we have a plethora of newer, more interactive media at our disposal. Inge has worked as a research assistant to Prof. dr. Paulo de Medeiros on the project The New Portuguese Letters: Reception and Impact in the Netherlands.
She is currently working on her PhD project with the preliminary title The Novel and the New: Hybrid Literature in the Digital Age, under supervision of Dr. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (UU) and Dr. Jessica Pressman (Yale). This research is part of the NWO-funded project Back to the Book: Analog Literature in a Digital Age.
We regret that Sonja Neef and Liedeke Plate will not be able to present their work during this conference. They will be contributing when we meet for the second time.