The Digital Gothic. Rethinking ethics, media and monsters in a digital age
- Contact person:
- Bo Reimer
- The Crafoord Foundation
- Responsible at Malmö University:
- Bo Reimer
- Line Henriksen
- Time frame:
- 01 January 2021 - 31 December 2022
- Research environment :
- Research subject:
Recent years have seen a proliferation of online stories that combine the Gothic – a literary genre preoccupied with the supernatural and the unknown, usually expressed through the manifestations of monsters and ghosts – and the digital. Such narratives, here referred to as the Digital Gothic, primarily revolve round the supposed risks of copying, sharing and responding to digital files.
Considering how monsters traditionally embody a given moment’s cultural anxieties, here it is argued that by taking seriously the monsters that haunt digital media, we gain insight into some of the fears and uncertainties of digitalized societies.
Therefore, the Digital Gothic is investigated not as a contained phenomenon, but as a product of and response to its contemporary moment, which is one marked by increased awareness of how digital technologies may allow connection and information, but only through the workings of hidden and complex, almost unfathomable systems.
Through the theoretical framework of hauntology, which emphasises the workings of the unknown and invisible on our everyday lives, as well as monster theory, which is preoccupied with the monstrous forms cultural anxieties take, the digital anxieties the Digital Gothic reflects will be investigated. A hauntological ethics that revolves around the question of how to relate to and live with spectral, digital systems, will also be established.