Literary Represenations of Cultural Encounters in Digital Space

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Alexandra Müller


This paper examines literary represenations of the Internet as a ‘place’ of and a tool for cultural transfer. The focus thereby lies on forms of intercultural processes between the virtual, seemingly transnational, ‘Internet culture’ and the physical, local ‘IRL culture’: cultural areas with their own specific communication systems, social norms and rituals. By analyzing novels such as Tommy Pico’s IRL (2016), Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s I Do Not Come to You by Chance (2009), Olivia Sudjic’s Sympathy (2017) or Mithu Sanyal’s Identitti (2021), I will explore literary presenta­tions of asymmetric power dynamics between the digital and material world like the dominion of the English language, forms of cultural appropriation or of double consciousness, and unsuccessful translation processes. Of particular interest in this context are virtual encounters that entail negative or simulated cultural relations between online and offline lives. 

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Imagining Cultural Transfers – Poetics of Cultural Contact, Circulation and Exch