Imaginative Agency: Representation and Online Selves

My research explores some theoretical concepts that connect different kinds of new media, and their relations to and evolutions from traditional forms. Currently I am thinking about diaries, and planning an exhibition in collaboration with the Great Diary Project www.thegreatdiaryproject.co.uk. The diary’s material forms of voice, space, time and privacy have partly survived and partly mutated with the emergence of digital diaries and life logging; analogies can be found in how self-portraiture and selfies relate. I’m interested in how digital ego media is handling the senses, and the increasing energies put into translating bodily experiences into digital forms. The quantified self produces realms of data given new meaning by how that data is curated, often with ideologically-charged languages of ‘self-improvement’; I’m trying to keep up with developments, and how verbal and visual conventions are used in managing self-presentation. I’m also looking for the politics that frame and colour self-expression, and what kinds of agencies occupy and preoccupy digital exchanges.

diarists

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Clare Brant is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature & Culture in the Department of English at King’s, and co-Director of the... read more about: Clare Brant