Panel 5: Technology and Other Ecologies

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Holly Parker (University of Lincoln): “‘These days reality’s a bummer, everyone’s looking for a way to escape’: Affect and Virtual Reality in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One.”

Holly Parker is a PhD candidate at the University of Lincoln. This paper feeds into a bigger project researching affect and performance within a corpus of twenty-first century novels. These novels see non-professional performers using methods of performance (such as Minecraft avatars in Keith Stuart’s novel A Boy Made of Blocks and performing as Prospero in Margaret Atwood’s Hagseed) to achieve affects that contrast their depression and everyday systems of self-management. To what end are characters turning to performance to experience pleasure, love, pain, shame et cetera? And how does this phenomenon reflect wider trends in relationships and emotion in the twenty-first century? Other research interests include: psychogeography; women’s writing; popular culture and postmillennial fiction.

Irene O’ Leary: ”Chronicling Chaos in Oryx and Crake.”

Irene is undertaking a PhD in literary studies at James Cook University, Australia. Her research interests include literary dynamics, process and complexity theories, fiction and writing techniques. She is also working on the wicked problems of style and elegance (i.e. staying upright with some degree of grace) in her longboard surfing.

N. Cyril Fischer: “Towards a Sonic Turn in Contemporary Literature?”

**If possible, use headphones to listen to get the full impact of this audio!

N. Cyril Fischer is a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin where he works on questions about the significance of noise in literary history as part of the Temporal Communities research cluster. He has co-edited and introduced the essay collection Portable Prose: The Novel and the Everyday (Lexington, 2018). An essay on nostalgia and realism is forthcoming in the Journal of Modern Literature (2020).

Paula Wieczorek: ”A plague of madness: Climate crisis, Capitalism and Indigenous Communities in Cherie Dimaline’s Martrow Thieves (2017).”

PowerPoint Slides

Paula Wieczorek is a PhD candidate and an academic teacher at the University of Rzeszów, Poland. Her particular fields of interest include posthumanism, ecocriticism and material feminism. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation on speculative fiction of selected North American Indigenous writers.

Sian Campbell: “Personalising Crisis in Contemporary Autofiction: The Apocalypse as Metaphor in Michelle Tea’s Black Wave.”

Sian Campbell is a writer and PhD candidate at RMIT, where she is researching the intersection between feminism and contemporary autofiction. She holds an MA in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in Melbourne, and a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing from the Queensland University of Technology.