“These Waves ...”: writing new bodies for applied e-literature studies

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Ensslin, Astrid
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University College Cork; Electronic Literature Organization
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In this talk I am going to reassess the social and psychological possibilities of e-lit research and practice by riding a new wave of applied, interventionist e-lit scholarship. I report on the methods and early findings of the “Writing New Bodies” project (“WNB”; SSHRC IG 435-2018-1036; Ensslin et al. 2019), which aims to develop a digital fiction for a new form of contemporary, digital-born bibliotherapy. In following the principles of critical community codesign and feminist participatory action research, WNB engages young women ages 18-25 in envisioning worlds where they feel at home in their bodies. Our workshops encourage them to engage, conversationally and through reading, co-designing and writing digital fiction, with key challenges facing young women today, including cis- and heteronormative gender relations, racism, anti-fat attitudes, ableism, and familial influences on the ways young women “ought to look” (Rice 2014). Part of the intervention is for the participants to hyper-textualize experiences, anxieties and desires they associate with their bodies, and to explore diverse options for reimagining and developing resilience to appearance-driven neoliberalist pressures. The end product will be a work of or a platform for digital fiction developed in community-tested iterations by leading feminist e-lit artist and WNB post-doctoral research-creationist, Christine Wilks. References: Ensslin, A., C. Rice, S. Riley, M. Perram, H. Fowlie, and C. Wilks (2019) Writing New Bodies. Project website. https://sites.google.com/ualberta.ca/writingnewbodies/home.; Rice, C. (2014) Becoming Women: The Embodied Self in Image Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
e-lit research and practice , “Writing New Bodies” project , Digital fiction , Electronic Literature Organization , ELO2019 , Electronic literature , Literary and digital culture
Ensslin, A. (2019) '“These Waves ...”: Writing New Bodies for Applied E-literature Studies', [Video] Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Arts Festival (ELO2019), University College Cork, Ireland, 15 -17 July. Available online: http://hdl.handle.net/10468/8779
© 2019 the author.