Date: Saturday, 27th May 2017
Venue: Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Within the study of media theory and history, competing narratives have identified, on the one hand, the absorption of the human voice or body within the text, and, on the other, the development of technology and material texts as extensions of that voice or body. To date these narratives have been largely located from the twentieth century onward. This one-day conference aims to readdress these narratives within a longer historical and wider interdisciplinary perspective. From eighteenth century concepts of the bodily consumption of texts by readers, and words being impressed upon their brains, to more recent imaginings of the multi-sensorial spaces of digital texts and their distribution in the new media landscape, the relationship between the media of writing and the human body has been fraught with affective potentials. This conference aims to examine this relationship between the materiality of texts and the materiality of bodies by bringing together researchers from different disciplines and time periods across the study of textuality.
Moreover, this conference seeks to make use of the potentials of such media forms for academic study. Speakers will be asked to send a digital copy of material related to their presentation ahead of the conference. These materials will be uploaded to the conference website, allowing speakers to explore the implications of their research during their presentations and enabling participants to view the material before and after the conference itself.
Possible topic areas could include:
- The physiology of reading
- The multi-sensory experience of texts: visuals, sonics, and tactility
- Literacy and the materiality of the alphabet
- The (dis)embodied nature of writing
- Technology and media and/as bodily forms of writing
- Text processing from print to the digital
- The Internet and (post)human identity
- Pens, typewriters, keyboards, touchscreens, and other media of writing
- The place of the body in media theory and history
Keynote speaker: Dr Seb Franklin (Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, King’s College London)
Conveners: Jessica Lim & Nathaniel Zetter (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)
Please submit a title and abstract of a maximum of 300 words, along with a short biographical note of up to 50 words, to email@example.com by 20th February 2017.