Literature, the contemporary book market and digital technology

Project: Research

Layman's description

The conditions for literature have changed drastically over the past decades, not least owing to the development of digital technology. Production, distribution and consumption of texts have been affected. This project aims to investigate and analyse the connection between literature, the book market and digital technology.

Digital technology has created new structures, which have given rise to questions about the role of literature, its conditions and possibilities. There is widespread concern that digital media will have a negative impact on literature and the book as a medium. It therefore appears particularly important to investigate and analyse the developments in the relationship of literature to media technology. The hypothesis of this project is that the technological, structural and economic developments on the book market also influence the supply and character of literature in the long run.

In practice, this project involves an investigation of the publication of fiction in formats other than the printed book, for example, sound files, e-books for various types of reading pad and digital publication on the Internet, as well as new printing systems such as print-on-demand (a quick printing system for small numbers of copies). In addition, the international trade in books is addressed, with a particular focus on what is often known as ‘world literature’. A study of the Google Books project leads to analyses of power structures on the book market and the position of the global media companies. Finally the project analyses the conditions for authors and how digital technology causes a renegotiation of what authorship and distribution of literature are.
Effective start/end date2009/01/012012/12/31