14th Feb 2017 5:00pm
Checkland E424, Falmer
The Digital Banal
Zara Dinnen (Birmingham)
Although we are repeatedly sold digital media objects as shiny and new, they are also always-already embedded in everyday life in complex, obfusactory ways. In this talk Zara Dinnen will be discussingthe difficulty of encountering the affective novelty of digital media, as 'the digital banal'. The digital banal is a name for the situation whereby the ubiquitous presence of digital media in everyday life functions as a mechanism that blocks access to the affective novelty of digital mediation. This talk will suggest that by paying attention to encounters with new media in literature and film, we can recover the novelty of becoming-with-technology in everyday life. In particular, Dinnen will read Sheila Heti's 2013 novel, How Should a Person Be? as an exemplary text of the digital banal.
Zara Dinnen is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Birmingham, researching representations of digital media in popular culture. This talk is adapted from her forthcoming book, The Digital Banal: New Media and American Literature and Culture (Columbia UP, 2018).