Digital Platforms

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Digital platforms have transformed the way that authors write and distribute literature and the way that readers access and consume it. Recent studies of contemporary literature have convincingly shown how platform capitalism shapes literary life. In this chapter, Schnepf makes the case for studying platform literature alongside US state security practices that target social media communication. Exploring Twitter’s involvement with US security agencies since the passing of the 2001 Patriot Act, Schnepf shows how the platform works with these agencies, soliciting readers of platform literature to perform volunteer feminized digital labor on behalf of US security interests. Turning to Jennifer Egan’s 2012 short story “Black Box,” this chapter considers how fiction written for Twitter is shaped by and responds to the platform’s geopolitical alignments. Egan’s text provocatively conceptualizes the gendered figure of the Web 2.0 user-reader while challenging the digital platform logic that would reduce this figure to a networked repository of data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Companion to Politics and Literature in English
EditorsMatthew Stratton
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781003038009
ISBN (Print)9780367481032
Publication statusPublished - May-2023


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