Enabled by the internet and mobile technologies, digital media have generated profound changes in how and where we communicate, interact, and present ourselves. Ego Media explores the impact of these rapidly evolving media on forms and practices of self-presentation, giving a multidimensional account of how the ego presents itself through and across the digital media landscape, and how this has both changed and remediated earlier modes.
Collaboratively written and produced, the project combines a humanistic, life-writing theory approach with an interdisciplinary methodology drawing especially upon digital humanities, cultural theory, sociolinguistics, neurology, and the medical humanities. Genres analyzed range from chatbots to war blogs to mommy vlogs and beyond, offering a breadth of insights into both the aesthetics and the politics of new media. Rather than pursuing each thread of analysis through a single linear narrative, the project is built as a composite picture that mimics the polyphonic nature of social media and is designed to highlight the tensions, contradictions, and coherences that characterize how people use, think, and feel about digital media.
Promoting reader agency and keeping the history of autobiographical writing in focus, Ego Media offers a self-referential view of how social media shapes researching and writing about the self.
About the authors
Max Saunders is Interdisciplinary Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham.
Lisa Gee is Assistant Professor in Creative Writing and Digital Media and Research Fellow in Future Thinking at the University of Birmingham.
"Notably attentive to the unique demands of writing meaningfully about online and digital media in a rapidly evolving landscape, this project provides thoughtful acts of situated methodology, dynamic interdisciplinary collaboration, and a commitment to substantial interpretation of self-representation online."
—Kylie Cardell, Flinders University
"Impressively diverse in topics and vast in scope, Ego Media takes a broad view to consider how culture, communication, and lived experience inform how individuals and collectives think of themselves in relation to each other and to technology."
—Laurie McNeill, University of British Columbia