Visiting Speaker, 21 Mar 2017: Matt Hayler on Digital and Ambient Literature

Matt Hayler (University of Birmingham) will be presenting his paper, ‘Digital and Ambient Literature: How Resistance Was Futile and the Future of Books Might Not Be Awful’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 21 March 2017. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48, and will be followed by a wine reception.

Abstract
2016.06.haylerWhat difference does digitisation make? This talk will compare the ways in which digital and printed book bodies might mean, taking their embodiment seriously and thinking through the work that it might do in entanglement with the bodies of their readers. As we develop new grammars of use for digital texts we see that they are anything but ghostly or ephemeral, instead capable of meaning in their form just as much as works in print – our resistance comes from somewhere else. These ideas will be further thought through in a discussion of the AHRC Ambient Literature project which explores the interactions of readers, digital texts, and lived places. What means, how, and in what configurations is a rich question, and my answer, at least in part, is a posthuman understanding of where sites of knowledge, and what is to be known, might be located.

About the speaker
hayler-matt-squareMatt Hayler is a lecturer in post-1945 Literature in the Department of English Literature at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on e-reading, materially experimental writing, digital humanities, critical theory, technology and embodiment. He is particularly interested in how the materiality of our artefacts impacts upon our culture, daily practice and cognition. His most recent research has been into the relationship between the ethics and artistic representation of transhuman modification of the body with technology. He is the author of Challenging the Phenomena of Technology (2015) and co-editor of Research Methods in Reading Digital Texts and Research Methods in Writing and Curating Digital Texts (both 2016). He is also on Twitter as @cryurchin.

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