Inge van de Ven
Ever since the rise of the Internet, scholars have raised concerns about the detrimental effects of digital reading on our cognitive skills, signaling the imminent weakening of our capacities for ‘close’ or ‘deep’ reading marked by sustained and focused attention. In the face of emerging reading habits like hyper reading, scanning, diagonal reading, and ‘task switching,’ my project proposes an alternative perspective on the question ‘how do we read in an information age?’. Building on the idea that attention and distraction increasingly intertwine, it develops an innovative, interdisciplinary framework of Creative Reading that integrates literary and creativity studies. I use the concept of creativity to unravel the apparent antithesis between digital and analog modes of reading. I perform ‘exemplary’ readings of a corpus of experimental (multimodal, hybrid) literature (1980s-2017) to demonstrate how switching between analog and digital texts, and between different modalities and scales of information, can make us into creative readers.