I’m excited to be part of a special session on “Reading the Invisible and Unwanted in Old and New Media” along with Mark Sample, Lori Emerson, and Zach Whalen at the 2013 MLA Convention. In my talk, “Lost in Plain Sight: Microdot Technology and the Compression of Reading,” I use the analog technology of the microdot, in which an image of a standard page of text is reduced to the size of a period, as a framework to consider questions of textual and visual materiality in new media. My discussion focuses on the work of microdot inventor Emanuel Goldberg, who in the fifties worked alongside and in competition with the engineer Vannevar Bush, a seminal figure for new media studies. I read the disregarded history of textual storage present in Goldberg’s work as an alternate narrative to the more hegemonic ideology of hypertextuality that has dominated new media studies.
Click here for more information on the panel as a whole.