Platformalism: Finding the Forms of Platform Literature

Cox, George (2021) Platformalism: Finding the Forms of Platform Literature. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In this thesis, I identify platform literature as an emergent genre of the third generation of electronic literature. Platform literature is multimodal and devised for, published on and distributed through pre-existing and proprietary online platforms. The architecture and features of these platforms heavily influence both the form and content of platform literature: for instance, the 280 characters of the tweet, the moments of engagement in an interactive film on Netflix, and the participatory comments section of a YouTube video. However, despite the relatively recent emergence of platform literature, the genre bears clear resemblances to print precursors, continuing and innovating upon the forms of these analogue antecedents.

Beyond now ubiquitous Instapoetry, I identify three other sub-genres of platform literature: Twitter fiction, Netflix interactive films and YouTube performance poetry. These sub-genres develop forms found in print forebears—the letter in epistolary fiction, the flowchart in the Choose Your Own Adventure series of gamebooks, and the archive of unbound books in boxes respectively—and entwine them with the features of the platforms they are found on. Throughout the thesis, I use a descriptive formalist analysis—which I describe as platformalism—that answers a call among scholars of contemporary electronic literature to be attentive to the proprietary platforms on which creators publish their works as much as the content of the works themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Thompson, Graham
Hutchison, Anthony
Keywords: digital platforms, digital media, platform literature, digital communications, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix
Subjects: H Social sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of American and Canadian Studies
Item ID: 64850
Depositing User: Cox, George
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2023 04:30

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