Literature as Content: A Conversation with Professor Kate Eichhorn
FRIDAY, AUGUST 7th, 2020 @ 11:30am-1:00pm
If people once talked about literature, art, music, television, and film, they increasingly just talk about content. While the prevalence of the term may appear insignificant, it represents a paradigm shift—a shift that is flattening out important distinctions between different types of media, formats, and genres while simultaneously devaluing the labor of cultural workers across fields. As political scientist Jodi Dean observes, messages are now nothing more than “contributions to circulating content.” As a result, the particular content of any message is irrelevant and so is the format, sender, and receiver. The only thing that matters is that content continues to be generated 24/7, and the content industry is structured to ensure this happens whether the final product takes the form of a tweet, advertisement, or poem.
In this conversation, Professor Kate Eichhorn, Associate Professor and Chair of Culture and Media Studies at The New School in New York City, and author of seven books, including most recently, The End of Forgetting: Growing Up With Social Media (Harvard University Press, 2019) and Content, a forthcoming volume in MIT's Essential Knowledge Series, will discuss this new universe of content with Prof. Marcus Boon of the English Department, exploring the impact of this paradigm shift on authors, readers and the future of literature.
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