Jessica Pressman seminar on Tuesday

We had two great (and very different) seminars earlier this week – with David Eriksson from North Kingdom (seminar available here) and Benjamin Peters from Hebrew University (available here). This coming week we are delighted to have Jessica Pressman from Yale University visit. She will be here for a digital humanities workshop/discussion on Monday (at 3:00 pm in the lab, see here), and will also do a seminar in HUMlab on Tuesday.

October 12, at 1:15 pm (live streamed at
Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media
Jessica Pressman, Yale University

What happens to literature, the literary, and the cultural value of both when text moves from page to screen? In my book project, Digital Modernism, I examine a prominent strategy in some of the most innovative works of electronic literature online: the appropriation and adaptation — the remediation— of literary modernism. The works I call “digital modernist” challenge assumptions about electronic literature forged in the last two decades. They foreground textual narrative, reject interactivity, and seek aesthetic difficulty. Instead of celebrating all that’s new in new media, these works adopt a modernist practice of returning to the past for inspiration. In this talk, I present my research by explaining how and why modernist cultural principles and poetic practices serve digital experiments. At stake, I argue, is an understanding of the role of literary art, critical reading practices, and humanistic culture in our networked age.

Jessica Pressman is Assistant Professor of English at Yale University. She specializes in 20th and 21st century experimental American literature, digital literature, and media theory. She received her Ph.D. in English from UCLA. From 2002-2004, she served as Associate Director for the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) and, from 2001-2002, as its Programs Director. She is the co-founder of the Yale Media Studies Collective and the faculty convener of the Yale English Department’s Theory & Media Studies Colloquium. She is completing a manuscript titled Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media and starting a new book project on bookishness in 21st-century print and digital literature. Personal website here.


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