Sarah Ruth Jacobs deposited MLA 2019: Abstracts for Special Session 728, Readership Studies in the Age of Digital Media in the group TC Digital Humanities on MLA Commons 5 months, 2 weeks ago
This panel considers the question of how traditional readership studies and reception theory have evolved methodologically, materially, and theoretically in the context of digital reading and online networks. While the panelists find common theoretical ground between studies of pre-and-post-internet networks of readers, they also chart substantive differences. Methodologically, these differences include the ability to computationally map networks of knowledge; materially, online networks have both the new anchor of hyper-targeted, algorithmic user manipulation and the freedom of otherwise open and disembodied networks; and theoretically, what traditionally might have been considered marginalia or ephemera has gained new gravity because of instantaneous, interactive, and crowd-ranked comments. In today’s reading networks, the discussion section is often the publicly visible and dynamic core of the text.