Brittle Paper founder and editor-in-chief Ainehi Edoro recently appeared on a podcast about literary criticism called Criticism LTD. The episode is titled “Brittle Paper & The Blogossance” and we hope that all Brittle Paper fans go listen to find out more about the history and context for Brittle Paper‘s existence and present-day significance.
Criticism LTD is the eighth season of The American Vandal Podcast, an assessment of the contemporary state of literary criticism and literary studies through conversations with more than two dozen scholars, students, editors, working critics, and other creators. The podcast generally features conversations and presentations about literature, humor, and history in America, produced by the Center for Mark Twain Studies.
In this particular episode of the podcast, the host Matt Sebold discusses the state of literary studies in the current age of social media with Ainehi. The episode also features Howard Rambsy, Sheri-Marie Harrison, John Guillory, Ryan Ruby.
They talk about the following questions and reflect on Brittle Paper as a case study: What is the relationship between literary criticism and media studies? How has criticism adapted to the digital revolution? These questions are considered by examining the origins of the blogosphere [5:00], its recent reemergence [17:00], the specific case of “Brittle Paper” [29:00], and strategies of adaptation within the profession [46:00].
Here is a brief snippet into Ainehi’s thoughts on literary criticism and the blogossance:
I do think that an old sense of literary criticism is ending. I do think that we’re on the cusp of something, that a certain kind of era is passing. I feel a sense of melancholy about it. But I think that it’s partly tied to the fact that what counts as literary discourse is also changing . . . What counts as literature is what is changing. What counts as a book, how a book circulates, how it addresses the world as something meaningful, all of that is shifting. It’s not a bad thing. It just means it’s becoming something else.
Matt Seybold is Associate Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, resident scholar at the Center For Mark Twain Studies, and executive producer of The American Vandal Podcast. He’s also co-editor (with Michelle Chihara) of The Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics (2018).
Ainehi Edoro is Assistant Professor of African Cultural Studies and English at University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Brittle Paper.
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