New Media Critical Homologies
Abstract

New media studies, we might say, has discovered temporality. After fifteen years in which its cultural dominant was presentist prognostication, even a kind of bullying, the field has folded on itself with such new guiding concepts as the "residuality," the "deep time" or "prehistory," and the "forensic imagination" of a new media now understood as after all always already new. This essay rereads the legacy of hyperfiction pioneer and demiurge Michael Joyce through Fredric Jameson's call, twenty years ago, for a "deeper comparison" than new media studies is yet ready to make, even today. It argues that new media studies, as a disturbance in both the practices and production regimes of humanistic discipline, is and always has been best thought less as an emergent field than as a site of such double vision. If we still want to consider Joyce's work a founding moment in new media literary studies in the U.S., we will have to recognize the radical untimeliness of, and at, that foundation: the extent to which the negativity of Joyce's secession from this emergent field must be understood not as the end of his influence in it, but in antinomian fashion, as its beginning again.


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