Hartwick English Professor Introduces a Digital Age Phenomenon

Ever heard of a 3-million-page novel? Hartwick College Assistant Professor of English Dr. Bradley J. Fest is currently studying the recent appearance and proliferation of such massive texts. He will present “Too Big to Read: The Megatext in the Twenty-First Century”—the final installment of the 2017-18 Faculty Lecture Series—on Wednesday, May 2 at 12:20 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the College campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

From massive videogames to gigantic cinematic universes to multimillion-page experimental novels, the digital age has seen the publication of unreadably large texts across media. Fest’s current project charts the emergence of the megatext as a distinctly 21st century form, and aims to illuminate what such huge artifacts can tell us about contemporary life. Engaging with the working paper for Richard Grossman’s forthcoming 3-million-page “novel,” Breeze Avenue, Fest will present a chapter from his work-in-progress, which discusses how scholars and critics might study texts that are, quite literally, too big to read.

Fest published a book of poetry in September, 2017, titled The Shape of Things (Salò Press). Along with a previous volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015), poems from Fest’s newest project have appeared or are forthcoming in The Airgonaut, Empty Mirror, Epigraph, Grain, HVTN, Likely Red, Masque & Spectacle, Nerve Cowboy, The Offbeat, TXTOBJX, Small Po[r]tions, and elsewhere. He has also written a number of critical and scholarly essays on contemporary literature and culture, which have appeared or are forthcoming in boundary 2, The b2o Review, CounterText, Critical Quarterly, Critique, David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing” (Bloomsbury, 2014), First Person Scholar, Scale in Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), The Silence of Fallout (Cambridge Scholars, 2013), Studies in the Novel, and Wide Screen.

For more information on Fest’s work, visit his blog, The Hyperarchival Parallax.

Fest earned his M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information on the Faculty Lecture Series, contact Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Amy Forster Rothbart at 607-431-4865 or forsterrotha@hartwick.edu.

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact:     David Lubell
E-mail:        lubelld@hartwick.edu
Phone:        607-431-4031

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