Recent essays

Text Generation, or Calling Literature into Question

2017-08-06

Reflecting on the genealogy and histories of “transgressive textualities” and text generators, Aquilina offers readings of texts by Swift, Dahl, Orwell, and Borges to consider the terms and issues involved in situating text generators as transgressive.

Infiltrating Aesthetics: Videogames, Art, and Distinction

2017-08-06

Though scholars of literature and the arts remain skeptical, Strunk explores some of the ways “videogames are making the transition into being objects worthy of artistic attention.”

Review of Stewart O'Nan's West of Sunset

2017-07-02

In this review of O’Nan’s West of Sunset, Messenger explores 20th Century American literary history as a kind of contemporary metafictional myth. Using Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as characters composing the life of a literary icon against the emergence of “Hollywood,” O’Nan’s work is considered a bittersweet meditation on the death of an author and the hope that his work lives on.

The End of Landscape: Holes by Graham Allen

2017-06-03

In her discussion of the textual, technical, and figurative characteristics of Graham Allen’s Holes (2017), Karhio “argues that [Allen’s text] is not a landscape poem in the customary sense” and explores the ways in which the digital platforms deployed in the project’s creation and publication contribute to the signifying structures that “challenge the idea of landscape as symbolic representation of the inner world of the speaking subject.”

 

Un/Official Worlds

2017-04-24

In this review of Mark Seltzer’s The Official World, Ulmer reflects on the interdependence of “the official” and “the unofficial” in contemporary constructs of reality. 

Towards Buen Vivir

2017-04-24

In this review of The Power at the End of the Economy, Lestón delineates the theoretical apparatus of Massumi’s book and its possible implications.

Before Corporate Monoculture

2017-04-24

In this review of Henry Turner’s The Corporate Commonwealth, Thomas considers how Turner historicizes the term “corporatization” to explore its wide-ranging definitions and functions in early-modern England.

Love Your Corporation

2017-04-17
Analyzing the long and complex history of the term corporation, Turner explores the possibility that the term’s roots in the universitas might serve as a basis for a re-translation and re-valuation of the corporate concept and establish a ground, both discursive and practical, for a reassessment of the “political” as a process of imaginative transformation and collective action.

Ghostbusters 2.0

2017-04-17

If the 1984 Ghostbusters film can be read as an early foreshadowing of the neoliberal transformation of the United States of America, how might the film’s 2016 sequel be interpreted?  Ralph Clare reviews the new film in the context of his reading of the original in his 2014 book Fictions, Inc.

Academia.“edu”

2017-04-17

Investigating the question of whether academics should be concerned that Academia.edu is not an educational institution, Johannah Rodgers finds that the answers depend on your definition of “education” and which parties you ask.  

 

A Digital Publishing Model for Publication by Writers (for Writers)

2017-04-17

How might literary databases be seen as alternatives to the commodification of academic scholarship in for profit, subscriber platforms?  Scott Rettberg and Joseph Tabbi discuss issues related to instrumentality, the global marketplace, and the digital humanities.

An Ontological Turn

2017-04-17

In this review of Mitchum Huehls’ After Critique, Smith situates Huehls’ “ontological approach” to the study of contemporary literature as arising from and standing in opposition to the “zombie plague” of neoliberalism.

The Economics of Book Reviews 

2017-04-17

In a review of the contemporary publishing marketplace in the U.S. and the many definitions of “corporate fiction,” Di Leo, editor of the American Book Review, offers some insights into the new economics of digital publishing and how ABR’s recent decision to partner with ProjectMuse ended the “online poaching” of the magazine’s content.