The 8th Congress of the European Society of Comparative Literature, Lille 26-30 August 2019. // 8e Congrès de l’European Society of Comparative Literature (ESCL) / Société Européenne de Littérature comparée (SELC), Lille, 26 au 30 août 2019 https://escl-selc.eu/next-congress/
Université de Lille – MARDI, 27 août/ Tuesday 27th August : Maison européenne des Sciences de l’homme et de la société (MESHS), 2 rue des Canonniers, Lille.
Postdigital Comparatism: New methods, new frameworks, new questions?
Panel proposed by Amelia Sanz (Madrid), Silvia Ulrich (Turin) and Aleš Vaupotič (Nova Gorica)
In this panel, we will try to describe and to evaluate the headway the Comparatism made at a time when cultures, literatures and criticism can be considered inevitably post-digital: after the digital revolution dealing with cultural habitus in the 21st century. Looking forward, what difference does it make? The point is the following: are digital archives, electronic devices, and tools modifying our disciplinary field just with regard to new available sources and dissemination strategies? Or are they creating any specific epistemological modeling? Is there any comparatist condition to be satisfied by digital methodologies? Are the digital humanities and the digital literary studies (still) distinguishable from general literary studies? Can electronic technologies and digital methodologies become hegemonic, even hypercolonial, over any epistemological sovereignty? How are the comparatists coping with the interdisciplinary constellations involved in using computer technologies in research? What is the difference between digitized literatures, and digital arts and literatures from a comparatist point of view? We should reflect on the use of the communication models from new-media art as a source for the emerging digital humanities genres. Why do comparatists seem so suspicious and skeptical towards digitization process and digital arts, whereas they are used to cross over cultures, oceans and media? Aleš Vaupotič (University of Nova Gorica) Comparative literature and digital humanities The paper scrutinizes four approaches that can facilitate a mapping of the changes and provide guidelines for a digital comparative literature, i.e. a revised comparatistics for the 21st century. The first focus is theories of new media, the studies of creativity in new communication media, such as digital poetry or electronic literature etc. Next, the automation of algorithms from the technical point of view and the critical reflection of data processing enters the domain of humanities. Comparatists will have to master both data management and manipulation, as well as be able to critically reflect on the interpretative value of e.g. data mining. The third aspect is the non-verbal modes of argumentation, which come along with information visualization and interface design entering the field, such as presentation of historical data from databases. The rhetoric of the human-computer interface is challenging – but not replacing – the dominance of the textual expression. Finally, the new comparative literature will have to be interdisciplinary, the task at hand is to outline the interdisciplinary constellation, collaboration models that can preserve the insights of the comparatist tradition while at the same time be able to address the new digitized/born-digital cultural record. Øyvind Eide (University of Cologne) Modelling as translation: the epistemological value of toolmaking in digital humanities The practice of cultural and literary studies as it is applied at the Department for Digital Humanities at the University of Cologne is based on active development and use of digital tools. To some extent this is based on statistical methods, as we know it from Macroanalysis/Distant reading. The focus on this paper, however, will be on the practice of deformative modelling, where digital versions of non-digital media products are created with the double aim of gaining a deeper understanding of both the source media expression and the target medium. Source expressions represent a number of different media including verbal text, performative arts, and physical models as they are used, for instance, in theatre productions. Target media include digital maps, 3D models, and virtual reality systems. Based on examples taken from research and teaching, digital literary studies will be discussed as a phenomenon existing in the span between scholarly discipline, auxiliary discipline, and methodology. Marin Laak (Estonian Literary Museum) Piret Viires (Tallinn University, Estonia) Digital Humanities – a New Tool for Literary Research or a New Discipline? The aim of our presentation is to check out the limits and possibilities of Digital Humanities as a concept and to determine its challenges for contemporary literary studies. Also the aim is to discuss some examples of research results and projects in literary studies done in Estonia using computing technology. The central question we want to address is the following. Can Digital Humanities essentially be considered as a tool or method for traditional literary research or is it an entirely new approach in literary studies, which has a potential to change literary theory significantly? Can we say that we are facing the emergence of digital literary studies or not? We would like to map some potential answers to these questions and also provoke a discussion on this subject. Carmen Concilio (University of Torino, I) Digital “Epitexts” and Literary masterpieces in the Digital Humanities In the present paper I would like to examine the role of distinguished writer’s official websites (Amitav Ghosh, Madeleine Thien, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole), as a source of augmented hypertext, providing an interpretative key to the author’s own creative works of fiction as well as to their role of intellectuals as highlighted by their essay-production. Websites, as parallel “epitexts” (Genette 1989) to the published works, together with public interventions on the web, for instance in the form of the so-called TED-talks, the production of video-essays or photo-essays, blogs, and flash fictions and a whole series of new digital genres, allows for a reflection and an assessment of new ways to produce, promote, publish and publicize literature. In the meanwhile, all this produces changes in the perception of celebrities, creating new visibility/credibility to authors – once believed to be unreachable, distant, inaccessible people. My aim is therefore to produce a critical evaluation of the new digital contents, within the framework of Digital Humanities Studies that surround successful literary works and their authors in the Anglophone world. Inés Pérez (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) Amelia Sanz (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) Pre and Post-global Children’s Literature: Conditions to cross over Departing from a hypothesis (that post-global means post-digital), we intend to corroborate it in a very specific field (children’s literature), as it is (1) an already constituted field, (2) where the transition to the digital can be observed, and (3) whereupon the communities of followers let us follow a particular type of traceability; which in itself constitutes a privileged field to be observed and for generalising approaches. We shall study and compare some of the strategies and mechanisms of globalization in the digital media in the journey of Quebec’s Caillou, Spain’s Manolito Gafotas, and the British My Little Poney, making punctual references to Asterix’ and The Simpsons’ trajectories as a frame for a global phenomenon. We intend, therefore, to obtain some conditions for the journey from pre-digital products to the post-digital/post-global era. Are these conditions hegemonic, even global? Are communication models from new media determinant? Are these post-digital conditions clearly distinguishable from those in the “old” Republic of Letters? Are they creating any specific epistemological modelling? We shall try to come close to some answers. Philippe Bootz (Université de Paris-8) Do we have to (really) change our mind? We generally consider that obsolescence and software opacity are digital problems we have to fix. But from the angle that the digital is a new societal and cultural ecosystem that also acts on creation, as was the electricity, we have to reconsider these features in another point of view: not as problems to fix but as constrains inherent to the productions themselves. It encourages us to explore and investigate these constrains in a creative way, what poets did and do. It fundamentally changes the conceptions we can have of “what can be literature”, and, in a comparative viewpoint, can we compare all these new features with other kind of productions, including printed texts? I will use some aesthetic features of works, some results of experiments on works programs, and some common theoretical concepts, many coming from digital literature theory, to claim that we have to reconsider the real nature of reading and access to works, the real nature of works and modalities of preservation, and to propose some ways of thinking out these questions in a native digital literature ecosystem. Narvika Bovcon (University of Ljubljana) The New-Media Art Communication Models for Virtual Museums New-media art practices can be a reference point in building virtual museums and databases for literary and other artistic or cultural content. The paper presents several case studies: from different conceptual archives in virtual space to information visualization experiments. The verbal information from databases can be preserved and reactivated also by giving it a more material form, such as transforming it into data sculptures. Real exhibitions can be recreated as interactive 3-D computer generated spaces containing simulations of interactive installations, performances and conceptual art, and as on-line diagrammatic representations of content. The new technologies are understood as opportunities to reconstruct and creatively interpret art projects that are difficult to preserve and document. The historiographical practices thus become innovative new approaches to understanding and narrating the reality of today and of the past.
9.00 – 11.00 : Salle Baïetto
Øyvind Eide (Cologne), Modelling as translation: the epistemological value of toolmaking in digital humanities
Marin Laak (Estonian Literary Museum), Piret Viires (Tallinn University), Digital Humanities – a New Tool for Literary Research or a New Discipline?
Carmen Concilio (Torino), Digital “Epitexts” and Literary masterpieces in the Digital Humanities
11.30 – 13.00 : Salle Baïetto
Inés Pérez (Complutense Madrid), Amelia Sanz (Complutense Madrid), Pre and Postglobal Children’s Literature: Conditions to cross over
Philippe Bootz (Paris-8), Do we have to (really) change our mind?
Narvika Bovcon (Ljubljana), The New-Media Art Communication Models for Virtual Museums
14.30 – 16.00 : Salle Baïetto
Panel proposed by Open Literature @Turin
Silvia Ulrich (Turin), Literature, writers and readers in the digital and post-digital age.
Roberta Sapino (Turin), From the ivory tower to WordPress. Authors and selfpromotion in the post-digital age.
Virginia Pignagnoli (Saragosse), Real Readers and Empirical Research: Reading Digital Paratexts.