Rule-guided Expression: Gender Dissent across Mediated Literary Works by Kristin Allukian and Mauro Carassai.
Published in Ada Issue #8. Ada is a journal of gender new media and technology.
“This paper is concerned with the examination of rule-guided cultural and thematic battles enacted by women writers in two historical moments—the late nineteenth- and early twenty-first centuries—against the dominant cultural institutions of their time. Such battles, evaluated in the Anglophone world of letters at large, bring to light women’s often inconspicuous strategies for legislating new mechanisms of written expression within the established authoring and reading practices of their times.
Both the mobility-limited late nineteenth century society and the apparently digitally-democratized twenty-first century seem to call for female writing subjects, who are often seen at the margins of the “social factory,”to intervene through specific literary acts of disturbance. Such acts of disturbance, when closely analyzed, can be seen as both exposing and altering the rule-based systems in which these authors are confrontationally embedded.
In envisioning the routes of such processes of imagination-based social practices moving from the ideally American radiating center, Dutch e-literature author Annie Abrahams, who has been living in France since 1987, and Australian codework poet Mary-Anne Breeze (also known as Mez) can be seen as modern Anglophone literary catalysts of the instances of the previously discussed nineteenth-century American writers such as Alcott, Phelps, Blake, and Jewett in a world increasingly imposing norms and standards both in digital labor and language-based technological expressions. Our brief analysis of works such as Abrahams’s Separation/Séparation or Mez’s _cross.ova.ing 4rm.blog.2.log 07/08 highlights how female electronic writing seems both to update the abovementioned three elements detected in the women’s career literature and translate them into the pragmatic dimension of digitally-mediated language expression.”