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Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series: Jonathan Abel

When Nov 03, 2015
from 11:45 AM to 01:00 PM
Where 121 Borland
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Resident Scholars and Artists Lecture Series 
Jonathan Abel
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies

Not Everyone [poop]s: Or, The Question of Universal Expression in Un-Literary Media

This talk examines the the role of reverse mimesis in three non-traditional media for the expression and circulation of literature—emoji, toilet paper, and twitter. Through the rare phenomenon of emoji novels, the publication of the first Japanese horror novel on toilet paper, and the thousands of twitter novels submitted for the #twnovel Prize, this talk argues that as literature is remediated, it not only reflects anxiety about its own remediation, but also stages the consumption of media technologies in order to teach readers how to understand such remediation.

If today’s everyday literatures continue to be denigrated as the work of uncivilized, base cultures, and, therefore, less worthy of study, they have been so at the expense of recognizing the value literary studies can offer such outsider fields of quasi-academic pursuit as trash culture, scatolinguistics, and graffiti studies and what such studies might offer literature, namely a way out of the hermeneutical circles presented in our perpetual canon debates.

Light lunch at 11:45 a.m. Presentation starts promptly at 12:00 p.m.