Comparative Media Literacies

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This paper argues for a shift in disciplinary identity from ‘comparative literature’ into ‘comparative media literacies’. The shift is necessitated by the fact that within a few decades, every student and practitioner of literature will be a digital native who negotiates culture from the perspective of the digital mind. In the digital mind informational availability replaces inquiry, reality is a montage from a variety of media, and the past no longer matters. Print literature is now a residual medium, just as oral literature becomes residual with the advent of writing. Comparatists should identify the essential elements of literature (which most likely does not include that it be written down in letters), see where these inhabit other media, and teach literature as an intermedial phenomenon. The essay uses Clive Scott’s intermedial translations as an analogy for comparative scholarship, and provides examples of how literature travels between media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-199
Number of pages25
JournalComparative Critical Studies
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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