Age, Obsolescence, and New Media
This proposed panel, sponsored by the MLA Age Studies Discussion Group, seeks papers that consider the implications of age and obsolescence for individuals, objects, archives, and/or media in the face of technological advances. As rapid changes in teaching, research, publishing, and communication technologies open up new avenues of access to information and collaboration, what consequences await those who don’t keep up with new developments? What are the costs and benefits of “unlearning” familiar habits and skills for those who seek technological currency? How are older people using digital media in creative ways, and how might that be changing the experience of old age? To what degree do class, gender, race, education, or other demographic categories enable access to new technologies or encourage attachment to old ones? How do new technologies help forge or disrupt alliances across generations? How does the interaction between bodies and technologies change over the life course? What happens to “old” media, obsolete hardware, and the archives they've held? Any literary, cultural, philosophical, sociological, economic, or historical perspectives on these and related questions are welcome. Please send 300-word abstracts by 15 March to Cynthia Port: firstname.lastname@example.org</email@example.com>.