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Author: Heather Blatt

Reorienting the narrative of digital media studies to incorporate the medieval, Participatory reading in late-medieval England traces affinities between digital and medieval media to explore how participation defined reading practices and shaped relations between writers and readers in England’s literary culture from the late-fourteenth to early sixteenth centuries. Traditionally, print operates as the comparative touchstone of both medieval and digital media, but Participatory reading argues that the latter share more in common with each other than either does with print. Working on the borders of digital humanities, medieval cultural studies, and the history of the book, Participatory reading draws on well-known and little-studied works ranging from Chaucer to banqueting poems and wall-texts to demonstrate how medieval writers and readers engaged with practices familiar in digital media today, from crowd-sourced editing to nonlinear apprehension to mobility, temporality, and forensic materiality illuminate. Writers turned to these practices in order to both elicit and control readers’ engagement with their works in ways that would benefit the writers’ reputations along with the transmission and interpretation of their texts, while readers pursued their own agendas—which could conflict with or set aside writers’ attempts to frame readers’ work. The interactions that gather around participatory reading practices reflect concerns about authority, literacy, and media formats, before and after the introduction of print. Participatory reading is of interest to students and scholars of medieval literature, book, and reading history, in addition to those interested in the long history of media studies.

Chiao-I Tseng

The recent uses of digital technology in war films have sparked a wave of discussions about new visual aesthetics in the genre. Drawing on the approach of film discourse analysis, this article critically examines recent claims about new visual grammar in the war film and investigates to what extent the insertion of different media channels has affected the persuasive function of the genre. Through a detailed analysis of Redacted (2007), which constitutes an extreme case of a fiction filmmaking use of a variety of digital channels, this article demonstrates that the multimedia format works within systems of classical film discourse while also generating new patterns of persuasion tied to new visual technology.

Film Studies
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David Myers

impact of digital media on toys and toy industries? The rapid rise of the digital gaming industry has paralleled the growing pervasiveness of digital media. Worldwide digital game sales and revenues rival – if not now surpass – those of movies (though these numbers commonly include the digital accessories and hardware, joysticks and consoles and the like, that are required for gameplay). Of course, not all digitally transformed games have been equally successful. The initial popularity of arcade games, for instance, has waned in favor of games played on

in Games are not
Ann Blair

In our time of increasing reliance on digital media the history of the book has a special role to play in studying the codex form and the persistence of old media alongside the growth of new ones. As a contribution to recent work on the continued use of manuscript in the handpress era, I focus on some examples of manuscripts copied from printed books in the Rylands Library and discuss the motivations for making them. Some of these manuscripts were luxury items signalling wealth and prestige, others were made for practical reasons – to own a copy of a book that was hard to buy, or a copy that could be customized in the process of copying. The act of copying itself was also considered to have devotional and/or pedagogical value.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Theory and practice

Considering how to communicate your research or engage others with the latest science, social science or humanities research? This book explores new and emerging approaches to engaging people with research, placing these in the wider context of research communication. Split into three sections, Creative Research Communication explores the historical routes and current drivers for public engagement, before moving on to explore practical approaches and finally discussing ethical issues and the ways in which research communication can contribute to research impact.

Starting from the premise that researchers can and ought to participate in the public sphere, this book provides practical guidance and advice on contributing to political discourse and policymaking, as well as engaging the public where they are (whether that is at the theatre, at a music festival or on social media). By considering the plurality of publics and their diverse needs and interests, it is quite possible to find a communications niche that neither offers up bite-sized chunks of research, nor conceptualises the public as lacking the capacity to consider the myriad of issues raised by research, but explains and considers thoughtfully the value of research endeavours and their potential benefits to society.

It’s time for researchers to move away from one-size fits all, and embrace opportunities for creative approaches to research communication. This book argues for a move away from metrics and tick box approaches and towards approaches that work for you, as an individual researcher, in the context of your own discipline and interests.

Open Access (free)
Reading practices and participation in digital and medieval media
Heather Blatt

? And what did their participation achieve for themselves or others? Introduction 3 The context: reading, participation, and agency The central subject of this project thus focuses on participation, a concept for which I am indebted to digital media studies. Perhaps because of the autobiographical self-interest of a writer raised in a print-centric culture but currently inhabiting a culture impacted by a new technology of writing and reading technology, I find great interest in studying a culture on the cusp of a parallel, earlier change. Yet beyond the bounds of

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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An infinite variety of appropriations in American TV drama

Serial Shakespeare explores the dissemination and reassemblage of Shakespeare’s plays in contemporary media culture, regarding the way this taps into but also transforms his preferred themes, concerns and constellations of characters. The appropriations discussed include isolated citations in Westworld and The Wire, a typology of the first female president modelled on figures of female sovereignty, as well as a discussion of what one might call a specifically Shakespearean dramaturgy in Deadwood and The Americans. By proposing a reciprocal exchange between the early modern plays and contemporary serial TV drama, the book focusses on the transhistoric and transmedial dialogue a revisitation of the Bard entails. The readings consider the Shakespeare text again, from a different perspective, but also address the fact that his text comes back to us again, from the past. The book claims that serial TV drama keeps appropriating Shakespeare to give voice to unfinished cultural business regarding the state of the American nation because both share the sense of writing in and for a period of interim. Given that the Bard continues to write and read America, what the book draws into focus is how both scriptwriters and cultural critics can, by repurposing him, come up with narratives that are appropriate to our times.

Mel Bunce

disinformation and help users navigate the digital media environment’ ( European Commission, 2018 ). More broadly, we need to focus curricula on critical thinking and reasoning. Recent interventions have shown this can be massively beneficial to students’ ability to discern opinion and anecdote from scientific evidence. In 2016, researchers ran a huge trial involving 10,000 schoolchildren in 120 primary schools in Kampala, Uganda. The results, recently published in The Lancet ( Semakula et al ., 2017 ), show that children who were taught

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Ernst Rebel

Today, print is gaining renewed attention. Over and above purely historical interest, it has become a field of research for questions as to the technical conditions of images in general. As the dizzying expansion of digital media raises more and more questions as to their historical development, the old, graphic world of the technical image appears

in Perspectives on contemporary printmaking
Paul Reilly

This book examines the ways in which contentious parades and protests in ‘post-conflict’ Northern Ireland are contested by affective publics mobilised on social media. In this way, it will contribute to the extant interdisciplinary scholarship on digital citizenship and the role of digital media in contemporary social movements. This chapter contextualises the research findings presented throughout this book by exploring three key issues. First, it introduces the contentious politics framework and applies it to the Northern Irish conflict. Second, it explores

in Digital contention in a divided society