Document Actions

IPP KNL | Prof. Dr. Dorothee Birke (Uni Innsbruck): "Transformations of Literary Reading Culture in the Age of social media"

IPP 20th Anniversary Keynote Lecture Series


Apr 27, 2022 from 02:00 to 04:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)


GCSC (MFR) & Online

Contact Name

Add event to calendar


Transformations in media cultures tend to be perceived with high hopes as well as deep anxieties. This is patently true of the current rise of social media, which has been both hailed and reviled as fundamentally changing the ways in which we relate to ourselves and each other. From the vantage point of literary studies, these developments have often been regarded as a threat to literary culture as we know it – or conversely, as an exciting way of extending the possibilities of literature by new digital affordances.


This talk sketches out some alternative paths literary studies can take to explore the status of literature in the contemporary new media ecology. The first part will examine the genre of the novel as a lens through which changing media habits are reflected and evaluated, taking as examples Julian Gough's Connect (2018), Olivia Sudjic's Sympathy (2017) and Patricia Lockwood's Nobody Is Talking About This (2021). The second part will train attention on real-life practitioners of 'bookish' social media (such as BookTube, Bookstagram and BookTok) and show how they project and negotiate the same ideas about media hierarchies and the status of literary reading in a digital environment that can be found in the novels.


// Prof. Dr. Dorothee Birke is professor of Anglophone literatures at the University of Innsbruck. She received her PhD in English literature from the Justus Liebig University Giessen and was manager of the GGK/GCSC from 2005 to 2007. She has held research fellowships at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies and the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies.





Please register here for Prof. Dr. Dorothee Birke's Keynote Lecture (in person or online)