SEM PACT / Partenariat avec Sydney, « Surveillance Imaginings », 01/12/2023, 10h-12h: T. Daile Sumner (Melbourne), « Surveillance Aesthetics & Machinic Poetics in Contemporary Literary Fiction » (Zoom)

  • Post category:Séminaire

Pour la première séance de l’année, l’axe PACT se réunira pour la séance inaugurale de son nouveau séminaire « Surveillance Imaginings », organisée par Claire Wrobel autour d’une conférence de Tyne Daile Sumner de l’université de Melbourne le 1er décembre de 10h à 12h en visioconférence.

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Surveillance Aesthetics & Machinic Poetics in Contemporary Literary Fiction

This talk will consider an aesthetic and poetic ‘turn’ in recent literary fiction concerned with themes of surveillance in novels such as Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West (2017) and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun (2021). Focusing on the affective states and subjective representation of surveillance in the contemporary novel, it will explore how the experience of digital surveillance is characterised as much by the aesthetic (popular culture, formalism, visuality, imagery) as it is by the technological (machines, data, artificial intelligence, infrastructure). It asks how emergent surveillant subjectivities are being articulated through literary language, a form in which rhetorical, semantic, and affective subtleties are represented and worked out. By turning to poetics—as a heuristic for moving beyond technological determinism—the talk argues for the significance of literary fiction as a crucial space for probing the ethical and cultural implications of contemporary surveillance in relation to the self, critical thinking, and creative expression.

Tyne Daile Sumner is a researcher in The School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Working across literary studies, surveillance studies and digital humanities, her research examines cultural representations of surveillance in literature, film, art, popular media and public discourse. Her first book is Lyric Eye: The Poetics of Twentieth-Century Surveillance (Routledge 2021). Her next project, beginning in 2024 on an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship, is titled ‘Beyond Big Brother: New Narratives for Understanding Surveillance’ and will examine a range of contemporary global literature in response to AI, facial-recognition technology, and dataveillance.