Literary Ecology: From Resistance to Resilience

Critical Writing
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Participants in 21st-century literary cultures will need to be vigilant in tactically resisting the monopolization of the word (by corporations such as Alphabet, Google’s parent company) while adapting to transformations in computational media and complex technical systems. For these “cognitive technologies,” Kate (Katherine) Hayles reminds us, “are now a potent force in our planetary cognitive ecology” (Hayles, Unthought 19). They are rapidly altering how coevolving human-technical systems (cognitive assemblages) process information; and through multiple feedback loops, they are processually transforming multiple levels of human consciousness and how we humans think.

Editors, for their part, aim to optimize the context for a works reception, listening and looking out for stimulating respondents and providing relatively stable-publicatation forums where moderated dialogues between authors, readers, and texts texts: this was the model, at least, for publishing in the Gutenberg Era. Digital publication and distribution is disrupting this model, radically. How can literary studies adapt in the emergent Programming Era?

My appeal to networked collaboration and collaborative networks returns us to the issue of resistance and its relation to agency, the ability to act in transformative ways. Agengy, at ebr, has always been understood as being distributed across networked systems comprised of exchanges between interconnected human and nonhuman actants (Rasmussen 282).

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Eric Dean Rasmussen