The first two decades of the new millennium have witnessed an abundance of change in the areas of textual production, digital communication, and our collective engagement with the Internet. This study explores these changes, which have yielded both positive and negative cultural and developmental outcomes, as products of digital dissonance. Dissonance is characterized by the disruptive consequences inherent in technology's incursion into the print publication cultures of the twentieth century, the explosion in social-media interaction that is changing the complexion of human contact, and our expanding reliance on the World Wide Web for negotiating commerce, culture, and communication. This study explores digital dissonance through the prism of an emerging literary subgenre called technohorror. Artists working in the area of technohorror are creating works that leverage the qualities of plausibility, mundanity, and surprise to tell important stories about how technology is altering the human experience in the twenty-first century. This study explores such subjects as paradigmatic changes in textual production methods, dynamic authorial hybridity, digital materiality in folklore studies, posthumanism, transhumanism, cognitive diminution, and physical degeneration as explored in works of technohorror. The work's rhetorical architecture includes elements of both theoretical and qualitative research. This project expands on City University of New York philosophy professor Noel Carroll's definition of art-horror in developing a formal explanation of technohorror and then exploring that literary subgenre through the analysis of a series of contemporary texts and industry-related trends. The study also contains original interviews with active scholars, artists, editors, and librarians in the horror field to gain a variety of perspectives on these complicated subjects.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Powell, Daniel, "Digital Dissonance: Horror Cultures in the Age of Convergent Technologies" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5482.