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Of the Repository: Poetics in a Networked Digital Milieu


Of the Repository: Poetics in a Networked Digital Milieu

Nardone, Michael D. (2018) Of the Repository: Poetics in a Networked Digital Milieu. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This doctoral dissertation is a material and cultural analysis of the entwined histories of the three major North American digital repositories of contemporary avant-garde and experimental poetry: the Electronic Poetry Center at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Kenneth Goldsmith’s UbuWeb, and PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania. The dissertation takes up a media-historical methodology to document the actors, publics, discourses, aesthetics, institutional environments, technological infrastructures, and social relations involved in the production of these open online repositories. The research begins from the premise that, in the study of what writing is, has been, and might be, the discourse of poetics and the figure of the archive fuse together. If, as Kate Eichhorn (2003) argues, “[t]o write in a digital age is to write in the archive,” in this research I ask: What can the composition of archives – their materials, contexts, protocols, and interfaces – teach us about poetics today?

Since the mid-1990s, these three repositories have served as a primary means for extending the purview and program of poetics as a contemporary institutional formation. In doing so, the creators of these repositories have utilized them as important media infrastructures for the publication, dissemination, and storage of poetic works and critical analysis on the contemporary production of poetry. Each digital repository is an argument for a specific poetics. Their entwined histories and cultural-technical infrastructures articulate numerous affinities, yet each is distinct in the way it casts a new light on certain critical terms for literary studies. Approaching each in terms of its emphasis on, respectively, access, circulation, and format enables a detailed engagement with the aesthetic, institutional, legal, and technological concerns of the digital repository. Here, this dissertation develops a unique methodology for addressing these complicated structures called digital repositories by emphasizing each case study’s particular bias. Such an engagement opens on to a more general consideration of language, writing, and textuality in networked milieus, and emphasizes the particular affordances that make the digital repository a significant, yet underkacknowledged, archival genre.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Nardone, Michael D.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:1 November 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wershler, Darren
Keywords:Poetics; Media Studies; Poetry; Media History; Sound Studies
ID Code:984941
Deposited On:10 Jun 2019 13:47
Last Modified:10 Jun 2019 13:47
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