Alexandria Digital Research Library

Dead-Tree Data: Print Novels, Information Storage, and Media Transition, 1910/2010

Panko, Julia Lehua
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. English
Degree Supervisor:
Alan Liu
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
Issued Date:
Literature, English, Information Technology, Information Science, Library Science, American Studies, Literature, American, and Literature, Modern
Print Book
Media Studies
Information Storage
Experimental Literature
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012

This dissertation examines the impact that the culture of information storage has had on the development of the novel. Drawing parallels between the current moment of media transition (circa 2010) and the early years of the twentieth century (circa 1910), I argue that British, American, and Irish writers in both periods have responded to the marginalization of the book as a storage format by producing experimental novels that explore the aesthetic potential of the print book. In doing so, these writers examine the status of the print novel as an information storage medium, considering how the tactile materiality and limited storage capacity of the book both complement and complicate the archival work of narrative representation. My project locates experimental novels within wider media ecologies by pairing close readings of literary texts with case studies of developments within information culture (such as the invention of portable microfilm readers, attempts to visualize the Internet, and the use of index cards in archival management). The first half of the dissertation focuses on the issue of scale in information storage circa 1910 and 2010, and the second half addresses the role of materiality and tactility in information storage and narrative representation during these periods. By tracing the intertwined genealogies of contemporary literature and digital information culture back to the early twentieth century, my research establishes a tradition of media-aware experimentation in the novel and deepens the theorization of information storage as a central issue for media studies.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (343 pages)
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
Catalog System Number:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Julia Panko
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