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Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications

Alyssa Arbuckle, Alison Hedley, Shaun Macpherson, Alyssa McLeod, Jana Millar Usiskin, Daniel Powell, Jentery Sayers, Emily Smith, Michael Stevens, Authors
Commentary, page 11 of 23

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This comment was written by Daniel Powell on 9 Jul 2013.

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Experimenting with Format: E-lit Materiality

For the granulation exercise, I decided to begin experimenting a bit with Scalar's path function. Rather than having all content responding to a prompt appear on one Scalar page, I divided my response into sections, each of which was integrated in the "Granulation" pathway. Practically, this is one of two ways to divide related but separate chunks of content; the other is to have an initial page appear in the appropriate path and hyperlink to subsequent pages from the first through internal navigation.

As for the exercise itself, I found it useful both for the way it prompted me to investigate e-lit a bit more closely than I had previously and for leading me to more closely consider the the physical manifestation of digital literary artifacts. As an individual working in the early modern period, textuality and bibliographical techniques of analysis are normally and gainfully employed; those same concerns, however, are often occluded when digital works are considered. The difficulties I had when attempting to parse the media types and the formal and forensic materialities of the e-lit object, Book and Volume, reflect this lack of concern.

This lack of explicit concern with the materiality of digital objects is fascinating in comparison with the fashions in which codicological studies have progressed. An awareness of material textuality—types of paper, locating print shops, dating texts by their textual makeup, etc.—is integral to literary scholarship, especially in periods before the later nineteenth century. That those same concerns are difficult to address for electronic literature on account of the impenetrability of many digital objects is both fascinating and troubling.

Arthur: Daniel Powell
Word Count: 262
This page comments on:
Particularities of Electronic Literature - Introduction (9 July 2013)
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