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Glitch Poetics: critical sensory realisms in contemporary language practice

Project: Research


A practical and theoretical research project which deploys the term Glitch Poetics to name a mode for reading and writing deliberate errors in contemporary literary texts, poems and interdisciplinary language works. I pose the question: do glitches offer a moment of correspondence between the (already diverse) concerns of poetics and those of critical media practice, forming new disciplinary allegiances and necessitating new hybrid forms of critique?

In attending to this question, I perform a range of close-readings of contemporary
media technologies and texts looking for moments in which a readable or revealing error allows us to read across poems, devices, bodies and environments. As such, the thesis contributes to fields such as Electronic Literature and the Posthumanities, in which distinctions between the mediatic, environmental, physical and literary are already being collapsed. As well as updating literary approaches to reading textual error, the thesis aims to reinvigorate the use of “glitch” for a New Media context, by further distancing it from the aesthetic of pixilation that typified its use in the early part of the twenty first century.

A creative component includes a short auto-biographical ‘Posthuman play’, The Happy Jug, presented here as a CD and libretto, and a book of textual works On the Point of Tearing and Disintegrating Uncontrollably which present errors in a range of forms structures immanent to lyric poetry. In attending to these questions and works, I show that the “critical sensory experience … [of] materials, ideologies and (aesthetic) structures” (Menkman 2011 p33) that distinguishes the glitch from mere error, forms the basis for a diverse range of literary realisms unique to the politics and technics of the digital age.
Short titleGlitch Poetics
Effective start/end date30/09/1531/05/18


Research outputs