My PhD was an investigation into the impact of the emergence of digital books and eReaders. This method was a combination of qualitative enquiry using interviews and participant observation. The primary research was interrogated using a frame of reference developed from Iser (1996, 1998) and his use of the Gestalt as a model for the co-creation of a text using semiotic and mimetic language structures. This was enhanced to reflect the influence of post-structural analysis and incorporate the challenge to the critic gaze, represented in the work of Benjamin and Radway. The thesis explored the influence of mediated form as an artefact, the restrictions of the page, and the experience of digital materiality for screen-based readers. This is still a source of endless fascination and focus of research, and there is a building group of scholars who research and teach on the subject.
My thesis is available as an ePub, Mobi and PDF from all traditional pirate sites. I am in the process of rebuilding the ePub and Mobi versions and will post them here.
This blog has been dormant for the last couple of pandemic years. This has been a response to having too little time for the world, a focus on teaching, and the time associated with a young family. I have chased other forms of creativity and limited my interest to the pursuit of the thoughts of others on the subject.
I plan to start the process of reviewing the literature that has developed in this area in the period the thesis was published in 2015, with the intention of publishing the pre-existing research and refreshing those sections of the book which are now stale or simply out of date. I plan to continue this in an open-source “Working Paper” style that I suspect will become the model for most cultural research in the future. I will start with Garrett Stewart, 2020, “Book, Text, Medium”, Cambridge University Press, as any book which claims to have no lineage or precedent is an interesting point of departure.