Forms of Innovation: Literature and Technology is a one-day symposium on the interrelation of literary forms and technologies. It will be held at the University of Durham on 14th September 2012.

Date: 14th September 2012
Location: University of Durham, Durham, UK
Dr Clara Dawson (University of Durham) & Dorothy Butchard (University of Edinburgh)
Plenary Speakers: Professor Kathryn Sutherland (University of Oxford) & Dr Ian Davidson (University of Northumbria)
Email: formsofinnovation@gmail.com

Registration for the conference is now open. The registration fee is £7.50, payable online via credit or debit card – for further details please visit our registration page or click the link below to pay and register immediately.

Click here to pay the registration fee

More about Forms of Innovation:

The Forms of Innovation symposium aims to provide a forum for postgraduate and early-career researchers to discuss correspondences and interrelations between literary forms and technologies, particularly those which have been treated as new, revolutionary, unconventional or challenging. Topics for debate will include:

  • Thematic and metaphorical representations of new or anticipated kinds of technology in literature
  • Literary perspectives on methods of textual production, especially at significant points of technological transition, such as the invention of the mechanical printing press or the popularisation of the typewriter and rise of desktop word processing
  • The effect of changing methods of production and transmission on the way different sectors of society and areas of the world read, write and encounter literary texts, including problematics of accessibility, usability and preservation
  • Interactions between notions of ‘digital culture’ and ‘traditional’ forms of literature, such as electronic versions of classic works or the use of computing technology to facilitate experimental narrative devices
  • The growth of digital humanities and the impact of digital technology on current academic practices and changing approaches to the study of literature.

We intend to encourage consideration of a history of cause-and-response in the relationship between technological processes and literary forms, themes and formats. In particular, we aim to address the notion that contemporary ‘hot topics’ such as the growing popularity of ebooks and electronic reading devices, proliferation of online journals and databases for academic study and the near-ubiquity of the word processor as a means of preparing texts for publication, are simply the latest manifestations in a long history of co-dependence between literature and technology. We hope that the symposium will provide a historical perspective on contemporary issues by addressing the relationship between literature and technology from the medieval period onwards.

The symposium will comprise panel sessions made up of three twenty-minute papers, with time factored in for questions and discussion.

We are pleased to announce our confirmed plenary speakers, Professor Kathryn Sutherland (University of Oxford) & Dr Ian Davidson (University of Northumbria). The conference programme and other details will be confirmed on this site, or you can contact formsofinnovation@gmail.com to receive updates by email.