Richard Alexander Carter

Department: English
Discipline: English

Project Summary

Textual Entanglements: A Performative Approach towards Digital Literature

This thesis examines a body of artefacts known as ‘digital literature’—a term that refers broadly to literary forms of expression that are integrated with, and articulated using, digital computing systems and infrastructures.

Principally, it evaluates the expressive capacities of this genre as it relates to particular conceptions of knowledge making in the contemporary technocultural environment.

More specifically, it considers how the generation of knowledge concerning digital literature, as enabled through particular material engagements with its constituent works, can be understood as enacting a ‘performative’ conception of knowing and being, in which the observable universe is considered to emerge in the real time of practice—existing in a state of continuous change and transformation, as enacted through the entanglement of human and non-human agencies, rather than expressing a fixed array of passive, unchanging primitives.

Digital literature is presented subsequently as a model of this greater performative vision—as a means of evaluating the structures and processes that manifest it within digital systems, and for assessing its practical and political implications for art and culture more broadly.

In so doing, this thesis seeks to justify the value of engaging digital literature from a standpoint that is more expressly political, contending that these texts are revealing not only of key processes shaping digital activities, objects, and environments, but are enacting alternative vectors of understanding and practice concerning them.

Supervisory Team

Principle Supervisor: Professor Regenia Gagnier

Secondary Supervisor: Dr. Laura Salisbury

Wider Research Interests

‚ÄčThe Digital Arts and Humanities (electronic literature, digital culture and aesthetics, media archaeologies), Visual Cultures (digital gaming and simulation, data visualisation), and Critical Theory (science and technology studies, new materialism, eco-criticism).