Networked Poetics: The Digital Turn in Southern African Poetry (Page and Screen) (Hardcover)

Networked Poetics: The Digital Turn in Southern African Poetry (Page and Screen) By Susanna L. Sacks Cover Image
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Simultaneously transnational and local, poetry in the twenty-first century is produced across digital networks, shaped through local communities, and evaluated on a global scale. It might start on social media, where a video of a poet circulates and goes viral, gaining international attention without ever going through traditional modes of publication. In Networked Poetics, Susanna L. Sacks introduces readers to the southern African poetry scene in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, illustrating how contemporary poetry is shaped, from inception to canonization, by the influence of digital media publication.

Interweaving ethnographic observation and extensive literary analysis, Sacks demonstrates that, as more artists in Africa reach wider audiences through online publication, poetic form has shifted to reflect social media’s aesthetic norms of urgency, immediacy, and populism. These changes have, in turn, challenged elite processes of valuation, forcing literary institutions like prizes, festivals, and curricula to accommodate the digital turn.

About the Author

SUSANNA L. SACKS is assistant professor of comparative literature at Howard University.

Praise For…

“While this work will certainly appeal to scholars of African literature, it has broader appeal to those in new media and digital studies interested in how writers marshal new media platforms as part of their writing process (and how writing is appropriated by social media users). Both the argument and the specific concepts that Sacks articulates will be invaluable for advancing how we study digital forms of literature.”—Roopika Risam, author of New Digital Worlds: Postcolonial Digital Humanities in Theory, Praxis, and Pedagogy

Networked Poetics is a provocative, engagingly written book, rich in instructive divagations, and superbly situated in the overlapping literatures on digital media, African poetry, and literary and cultural studies more broadly. A major strength of the book is its archive of illustrative materials that eloquently make the point that the social web and digital cultures more generally configure African poetry at social, formal, and institutional levels.”—James Yékú, author of Cultural Netizenship: Social Media, Popular Culture, and Performance in Nigeria

Product Details
ISBN: 9781625347688
ISBN-10: 1625347685
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2024
Pages: 248
Language: English
Series: Page and Screen