This research aims to analyze how the concept of the American Self has changed starting with technological advancements in the 1880s, and then demonstrating how literature and identity have been challenged by technology and the New Media today. The research will specifically focus on the evolution of American Identity, altered by technological interaction, and the consequent redefinition of concepts such as individualism, privacy, freedom and selfhood. As such, the project will look at those novels in American literature that illustrate the evolution and consequent redefinition of identity through technological and digital change. As literary analysis demonstrates, this thesis will examine the complex alteration of identity through technological advancements, ranging from one of the first means of communication, the telegraph, to the Internet. The novels that will be analyzed are: Wired Love- A Romance of Dots and Dashes (1879) by Ella Cheever Thayer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) by Mark Twain, The Broom of the System (1987) by David Foster Wallace, Chronic City (2009) by Jonathan Lethem and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010). The trajectory of this project, from the late 19th century to our contemporary age, will trace an arc from the origin of communication technologies to modern digitalization. Examining technology and identity through the lens of literature, this research will attempt to demonstrate how communication technologies have shaped a new concept of American identity, rewritten in front of the screen and repositioned in the dense network of virtual interactions.
|Titolo:||Performing Identity: The Literary, Technological and Digital Evolution of the American Self|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||07.13 Doctoral Thesis|