Research Seminar: 12 May 2015, Anthony Mandal on ‘Digital Humanities 2.0’

Dr Anthony Mandal (Cardiff University) will be presenting his paper, Jekyll 2.0: Embodying Gothic Fiction as Pervasive Media: Literature, Digital Cultures and Posthumanism, at 5:00 pm, Tuesday 12 May 2015. The seminar will take place at the City Campus of the University of Wolverhampton in MC225.

Abstract:

SpookyMy talk draws on a collaboration between games developers Slingshot and myself, Jekyll 2.0, funded through the AHRC Research & Enterprise in Arts & Creative Technology (REACT) hub. The first phase of our project commenced in January 2013, and sought to leverage digital technologies in order to innovate new forms of textuality in a transmedia context. Taking Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) as our inspiration, we have been transforming this Victorian gothic story into a new pervasive media game for a twenty-first-century audience.

The tale’s preoccupation with science, technology and human identity is being echoed in current debates on convergence culture, cybernetics and posthumanism, particularly the work of Henry Jenkins, N. Katherine Hayles and Steve Fuller. Moreover, new media present both creative practitioners and textual scholars opportunities to reconceive the relationship between originality and derivation as a complex, not to mention contested, practice—evidenced in the oppositional positions recently adopted in favour of ‘remix’ as the new creative modality (Lawrence Lessig) and against the submersion of individual creativity by the ‘crowd’ (Jaron Lanier).

Taking these contexts as my starting point, I will explore the opportunities and challenges offered by the intersections between literary criticism, digital creativity and posthumanist theory. These cultural readings will be complemented by a more reflective segment that draws on my personal experiences of working on our pervasive media project, which is now being developed by Slingshot as a full game entitled Hyde. In so doing, I hope to discuss the possibilities available to digital humanities practitioners to expand our disciplinary practice into a new creative modality that might be termed, ‘Digital Humanities 2.0’.

About the Speaker:

AMAnthony Mandal is Reader in Print and Digital Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, Cardiff University (UK). He has published books and articles on various subjects, including the history of the book, digital humanities, nineteenth-century fiction, literature and medicine, and the gothic. Anthony is a General Editor of The New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson (2009–). His current projects include a co-authored reference work, The Palgrave Guide to Gothic Publishing: The Business of Gothic Fiction, 1764–1835, due for publication in early 2016.

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