The Effects of Digital Technology: Remix, Collaboration, and Authorship in Contemporary Writing Open Access

Shaffer, Jennifer Lauren (2017)

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The goal of this thesis is to examine how digital technologies, specifically the use of the Internet as well as word processors, have affected contemporary and post-modern literature. Drawing upon secondary sources as well as interviews with Emory University students and professors, it aims to determine how forms of literature have expanded and converged, and whether or not the creative process behind the production of literature has shifted as a consequence of digital technologies. The thesis concludes that digitalization has maximized the process of manipulation, circulation, and collaboration within literature, thus contributing to the increase in experimental writing and reading techniques. Additionally, it argues that digital technology has diminished the significance and the responsibilities of the author, and reestablished the relationship between reader, writer, and text by emphasizing the medium rather than the final content itself. Finally, this thesis questions the importance of authenticity in contemporary literature, and suggests that as authorship is becoming less relevant, authenticity in writing is simultaneously becoming less defined.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Methodology

III. Pre-Existing Writing and Manipulation

1. Patchwriting

2. Parodies

3. Popular Audiences Outside the Literary

IV. Editing and Authorship

1. Evidence of the Author

2. Editing Tools as Helping Hands

3. Continuous Revision

4. Informality of Platforms

V. Avant-Garde Literature and the Importance of the Reader

1. Multimedia Literature

2.The Responsibility of the Reader

3. Internet-suffused Writing

VI. Manipulation of the Reader and the Platform

VII. Conclusion

VIII. Bibliography

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