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Jessica Pressman

Bookishness: The Afterlife of the Book in Digital Literary Culture (11.11.2014)

In the moment of the book’s anticipated demise, when digital technology supposedly renders the codex obsolete, we witness the proliferation of creative acts fetishizing the book medium.  From book earrings to codexical laptop covers, from Youtube videos about books coming to life to altered book sculptures (what Garrett Stewart calls “bookwork”), these diverse efforts participate share an aesthetic strategy that I call “bookishness.” This talk explores bookishness across diverse genres, media, and aesthetics to show what this cultural phenomenon tells us about our medial shift and the role of the literary within it.


Main Research:

  • 20th and 21st-century American literature
  • digital poetics
  • media theory

Publications (selection):

  • Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • with N. Katherine Hayles (eds.): Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.
  • with Lisa Swanstrom (eds.): “The Literary,” A Special Issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly. Boston: DHQ, 2013.