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Digital Vernacular

2:00 PM, Tuesday 14 Aug 2018 (1 hour 15 minutes)
This paper will discuss a range of concepts relating to populism in digital media. The vernacular appears to literary scholars as a shift towards democracy (tilting the ideal of readership and the consciousness of the reader towards the Reformation and the Enlightenment). Along with this practical historical shift (facilitating the rise of nations and nationality), the pivot to the popular permitted an expansion of poetic and subjective possibilities in the literary arts. In the US, a second “revolution” of the vernacular takes place in the post-colonial context in rejection of perceived European norms--often with Black expression serving as a space of cultural imagination—both in the literary arts and in mass culture. This shift marked the expansion of American hegemony, beginning with Manifest Destiny and towards Neoliberalism. The result is a complicated genealogy of popular language. What can this tell us about popular culture in a post-digital age?

This paper will explore the politics and aesthetics of the digital vernacular with special attention to networks and platforms that facilitate and encourage modes of sharing that alienate the form from content and content from context, at once facilitating new forms of expression along with emerging models of political control.
Winona State University