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Iperstoria no. 24 CfP: Anglo-American Digital/Electronic Literature: Theories, Forms and Practices

Anglo-American Digital/Electronic Literature: Theories, Forms and Practices

Iperstoria n. 24 – Call for Papers Fall 2024 


Andrea Pitozzi, Università degli Studi di Bergamo

Mario Verdicchio, Università degli Studi di Bergamo

Under the umbrella term of Digital Humanities, the last thirty years have witnessed a growing production of studies devoted to interactions and connections between increasingly advanced technologies on the one hand, and artistic forms and theoretical perspectives in the humanities on the other. As for the field of literary studies, the interaction with digital technologies and AI is now the center of various research, highlighting in particular the potentialities of an intensive technological application and implementation, which also leads to a rethinking of the basic elements of the discipline. In the field of critical studies, for example, digital technologies have enabled interpretative and analytical models such as those based on textual analysis or distant reading (Moretti). At the same time, other interpretative models based on the idea of code (Geoghegan) or network (Jogada) emerged, as well as critical approaches based on intermedia or transmedia (Jenkins) research perspectives. Even from a creative point of view, recent years have witnessed a passage from early texts using electronic technologies or cybernetic structures, to works entirely generated by software such as Storyspace – with “hypertext narratives” – to more recent works labeled as Electronic Literature (Rettberg) and Digital Literature.

In an ideal continuity with issue 12 (2018) of this journal, devoted to the use of digital technologies as a tool in order to approach the field of literary studies, the present special section of Iperstoria aims to analyze contemporary examples of digital/electronic Anglo-American literature, focusing on products that have been conceived directly in the electronic/digital environment, and are thus related to a certain technological specificity. Contributions that understand the digital as a technology that changes and modifies perceptual and creative paradigms, rather than simply as an instrument that facilitates, expands or accelerates established practices are particularly welcomed, as well as essays in which the digital is considered, in its relation to technologies, as an aesthetic condition capable of defining a new theoretical framework for literary products.

In considering digital/electronic literary works great attention will be paid to three main lines of inquiry: firstly, one that explores potential theoretical approaches to the connection between digital/electronic technologies and literature; secondly, one that is devoted to the analysis of digital literary works that problematize and thematize the very connection with technologies; and finally, a third line that is ideally dedicated to contemporary practices in which digital and electronic technologies are integrated into the creative process not as mere tools but on an aesthetic and poetic basis.

As far as theories are concerned, contributions might explore the literary-digital nod from a philosophical and aesthetic perspective. Is it possible to speak of an aesthetic of digital literature? What characterizes a philosophical approach to the study of digital technologies in the field of literature? Since aesthetics concerns the analysis of the sensible and the sensual, is there a theory that questions the processes and uses of technologies?

As for the forms, attention will be paid to contributions exploring how digital and electronic technologies are thematized and interrogated in the literary field, through hybrid products that present themselves as sites of reflection on technologies rather than simply sites where technologies are applied to literary forms.

Finally, examples and analyses of literary practices that discuss the connection between literature and the digital through a radical rethinking of creative paradigms, such as AI-generated texts, Twitter fiction, Instapoetry, fan fiction, etc., are also welcome.

Possible lines of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

  • Surveys of aesthetic theories of digital/electronic literature

  • Case studies of digital/electronic literature in which the technological aspects are problematized, rather than simply included as implementations

  • Definition of potential new literary genres through the digital

  • Analysis of glitches and errors as potentially creative elements

  • Works that combine digital art and literature

Deadline and instructions

Publication is scheduled for December 2024. Papers, in either Italian or English, must be submitted by June 15, 2024 and should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length.

Those interested in submitting a proposal should send a 250-word abstract to the editors at andrea.pitozzi@unibg.it e mario.verdicchio@unibg.it by March 20, 2024. Abstracts will be evaluated by the editors and notifications will be sent shortly thereafter.

Submitted manuscripts must be original and uploaded to the journal website following the procedure available at the link: https://iperstoria.it/about/submissions.

Final acceptance will depend on the relevance of the article to the call theme(s), as well as on the originality and quality level of the submission. All submitted manuscripts must conform to Iperstoria’s guidelines.

Read the call in Italian: https://iperstoria.it/announcement/view/37

Valentina Romanzi

Adjunct Professor, University of Verona

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Turin

+39 3479542180


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