The Challenge of Cybertext: Teaching Literature in the Digital World

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This article discusses the changing role of literature in the contemporary media landscape. Literary scholarship may well maintain its importance in the digitalizing world, but this requires it to engage in an open dialogue with cultural and media studies. It is important that more attention is paid to contemporary literature as well as to new media offering significant pedagogical possibilities, which should be better acknowledged. The article's main focus is on the emerging field of digital literature. Cybertextuality, especially, is fundamentally changing our notions of the integrity of a literary work, reading, writing and interpretation. I attempt to describe and put into context one sample case of cybertextuality, The Impermanence Agent by Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al. Finally, I discuss some of the practical problems faced by teachers who introduce digital literature in their classrooms.

(Source: Author's abstract)

Reprinted in Online Learning Vol 2: Digital Pedagogies (Sage, New York, 2011)

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Patricia Tomaszek