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 nationally ranked, selective, independent college of the arts and sciences located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Founded in 1797, Hartwick is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States and has a long-standing tradition of adaptation and innovation. The College offers 35 courses of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree and has gained renown for its innovative three-year degree program. Integrating an arts and science-based education with faculty-facilitated experiences – including study abroad, advanced research, and community-based service learning – Hartwick College prepares students to become valuable, fulfilled, and future-ready members of global businesses and society.

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

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