UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Writing post-person : literacy, poetics, and sustainability in the age of disposable information James, Kedrick Platon


Turning originality in authorship upside down, writing post-person posits a vital new role of writer-teacher-researcher in promoting sustainable relationships between people and the automated information environments they inhabit. In particular, this study proposes a remedial approach to info-waste in networked systems of literate correspondence, using poetic inquiry to examine the contemporary problem of spam (unsolicited bulk and commercial email and net abuse), and to reframe this critical juridical-technical issue from a personal and literary perspective. Seen within the Western historical context of public postal systems and the rise of mass mail, the connection between modes of impersonal address in networked media and consumerist ideologies is theorized. Focusing on the troublesome immanence of disposability, informational excess is examined as a means of social inclusion and exclusion by tracing computer network spamming from the first bulk newsgroup postings to the current era of artificially intelligent robotic networks. Situated within an educational context of teaching and writing in the twenty-first century, an age post-personal discourse, this dissertation aims to enhance the critical pedagogical work of establishing diversity as fundamental to personal and social value systems with attention to how poetics can be applied to everyday digital literacies to increase language awareness, stimulate student creativity, and at the same time serve as a barometer of prevailing climate change in cyberspace.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International