Considerations for This Week, 1-28-19

As you have probably guessed by now, the theme of today’s readings focuses on how we are humans make sense of, engage with, and come to experience texts, particularly texts that are participatory, interactive, and experiential.  John Cayley’s writings chronicle years of making such work and arrives at the notion of grammalepsy. Likewise, N. Katherine Hayles continues to grapple with the notion of cognition and post humanism that formed the basis of her ground-breaking work from 1999, How We Became Post-Modern: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Anna Nacher explores the post-digital condition that is changing the way humans understand the physical and digital worlds. Will Luers asks us to think about the way postmodern works encourage new ways to experience imaginative experiences.

A takeaway for those of you interested in rhetoric and composition can reflect on Cayley’s and Hayles’ differing views of the way digital technologies are influencing writing and cognition. For those of you involved in literary studies can consider the three areas of textuality presented by Luers as a good starting place for further exploration. The creative writers in the class may find Nacher’s essay, specifically the notion that humans are co-evolving with their technologies a rich area to  investigate further.

The question I ask all of us is, “What does textual production look like in the future if indeed humans continue to assimilate with computational media? What is writing? What is literature? What is art?

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Dene Grigar is Director and Professor of the CMDC Program. She specializes in electronic literature, emerging technologies and cognition, and ephemera.

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