The Emerging Contours of the Medium. Literature and Mediality

Richard Müller (ed.)

The Emerging Contours of the Medium explores a crucial aspect of media thinking, focusing particularly on the mediality of literature, a medium that remains today on the margins of the theoretical discussion of media. The book was written by a collective of authors based in the Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Even though interest in the technological and media aspects of literature has been slowly building momentum in the past several decades, from comparative perspectives to written culture to new media, the concept of the medium has not informed this process, and its systematic integration into literary studies has never been effectively carried out. Nor has the specific mediality of literature been successfully integrated into the general concept of media/lity in media science. Contributors to this work provide both an explanation of and solution to this mutual blindness, setting out from the question: What are the conditions for elaborating a media-theoretical framework in which to situate literature as a medium?

The Emerging Contours of the Medium, available for the first time in English, is divided into three parts, which correlate to the three main research areas of the principles for a media theory of literature. Part 1 develops a perspective of the (pre)history of media thinking, grounding the principles of the genealogical integration. Part 2 concentrates on and develops the related perspectives of media philosophy and media anthropology. Part 3’s main focus is the way media – as dispositifs interlinking the parameters of perception and communication – provide the ground for making emergent media phenomena visible, whether it be between media (in their mutual synergy or discrepancies), between media artefacts, or between human and apparatus.

The book was prepared by Richard Müller, Alice Jedličková, Stáňa Fedrová and Pavel Šidák from the Institute of Czech Literature AS CR, Tomáš Chudý as an independent scholar, Josef Šebek and Josef Vojvodík from the Department of Czech and Comparative Literature from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, and Martin Ritter from the Institute of Philosophy AS CR. It is an adaptation of the Czech monograph Za obrysy média. Literatura a medialita (2020), translated by Peter Gaffney and Nicholas Orsillo.

Editors Richard Müller
Title The Emerging Contours of the Medium. Literature and Mediality
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic
Year of publication 2024
Page count 520
Format 14,5 × 22 cm
ISBN 9781501398674