Projects in Development

(Alter)Native Tech: Irish Writing after Digital

Ireland may not be the most obvious place for high-tech writers to have developed, but a few Irish writers emerging since the 1970s have demonstrated unique technical, technological styles and textual strategies, suggesting that Irish writing in North and South has been undergoing an independent evolution, and one that has become global—perhaps more global than most—in some fascinating ways. This book examines the evidence and outcomes of that evolution in Irish writing, revealing—perhaps unexpectedly—an arrival at the cutting-edge of post-digital, global writing.

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Sustainably Weird: Survivalist Eco-Discourse in the Horror Podcast

This paper argues that an ethos of ecological sustainability is embedded in the podcast form, a point particularly salient for the horror or “weird” genre of podcasts, where a theme of survival is an essential feature. Drawing on a framework of discourses from dark ecology, object-oriented ontology and posthumanism, we argue for the emergence of a sustainability politics within weird podcasts. (with Michael Collins, Kent University)

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Complex Radio: Rewilding and the Podcast

in  Conceptualising the Podcast: Interdisciplinary Analyses of New Aural Cultures (Palgrave)

Rewilding is a movement in conservation science that supports biodiversity by helping areas go “back to nature”; rewilding is about the restoration of wild spaces, in geographic environments and in human nature both. This chapter looks at podcasting as a “wild” form of transmedia narrative, examining its structural and epistemological affinities with forms of chaotic real-world restoration, rewilding in particular.

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Making Energy Narrative

Contributing to emergent "Climate Humanities," this AHRC bid involves collaboration between researchers in English, Interactive Media and Environmental Social Science, will develop a game, playable on mobile devices and based on research carried out in real communities, designed to engage users with the social and technical complexities of renewable energy transitions through narrative interaction.

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Hyperobjective Scholarship & the Social-Digital Academy

How has the ubiquity of the social-digital changed the way we carry out scholarship? Expanding on Tim Morton's concept of the hyperobject, this paper examines how the shape and scale of the social-digital can come to bear on academic research, in authorship and dissemination. "Hyperobjective scholarship" is defined as that which is intensely aware of its position within vast and complex social, technological, economic and other networks, a fact that comes to bear greatly on themes and dissemination styles across disciplines.

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Wired Island: Irish Literature & Global Energy Networks

How the concept of electricity has emerged in Irish writing since Joyce, connecting digital-global communications and the ecological imagination in Irish writing. Points of focus range from the conceptual convergence of national electrification and grammatical network construction in Finnegans Wake, to dissociated networks of electricity production and consumption in Heaney’s poems, to Carson’s invention, in poetry and prose, of the hypertextual urban centre emerging of complex, electrical communications circuits. 

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Reading Nature's Network

Rewilding’s tactics take as a given a vast complexity of interacting processes, with interventions focused on rearranging elements in the dynamic system to encourage (bio)diverse ends. Recent criticism suggests that similar things are happening in the literary arts, as emergent textual practices seek to allow complexity to flourish. This project will engage a humanities-led exploration of complexity in the classroom, with an innovative pairing of Irish literature and digital games. A central concern is how the texts defer to wildness or complexity as the “natural” form of cultural and biological processes.

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Collective Transmedia Investigations

This paper compares the structural and aesthetic practices that characterize Making a Murderer (2015), drawing parallels to similar elements of other works (for example Serial) and arguing for an emergent style of mediated narrative that is driven by participatory culture. We argue that key elements of the emergent genre of collective narrative investigation include a nebulous and collectively produced core text, and how texts emerge in real time, or in simulated real-time, both in terms of legal cases, the lives of human actors, and audience contribution: these stories, in a sense, live and breathe.

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