Roger Whitson and Jason Whittaker. William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Participation, and Social Media. (Routledge 2012, Paperback 2015)
William Blake’s work demonstrates two tendencies that are central to social media: collaboration and participation. Not only does Blake cite and adapt the work of earlier authors and visual artists, but contemporary authors, musicians, and filmmakers feel compelled to use Blake in their own creative acts. This book identifies and examines Blake’s work as a social and participatory network, a phenomenon described as zoamorphosis, which encourages — even demands — that others take up Blake’s creative mission.
“[S]tudents of Blake will find much to admire in Whitson and Whittaker’s book. Its readings are wide ranging and novel, drawing from examples as various as Twitter quotes and World War I-era hymns to show the significance of Blake’s ‘virtuality.’ The diversity of methods further demonstrates the value of collaborative authorship in action.”
—Whitney Anne Trettien, Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly 49.4 (Spring 2016).
“[This book] does an extraordinary job of exploring the popularity of Blake on the Internet as well as the uses of social media to ‘customize’ his work. The authors write about it powerfully in the context of a DH which strikes them as remaking the teaching of literature.”
—Laura Mandell, Studies in Romanticism 53 (Spring 2014).
“For Whitson and Whittaker, the internet is all that writers like Godwin took the printing press to be: a continually refreshed opening on literary production in which interpretation is neither a simple recovery of a writer’s meaning nor a processional reception history traced through a series of writers.”
—Frances Ferguson, SEL: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature 54.3 (Summer 2014)
“They offer the most informed and informative tour of Blake in the digital age that I have read. […] I found this study absorbing, informative, and emblemantic of how thoughtful teachers and scholars are engaging twenty-first century studies and colleagues in the ongoing conversation about the eternally-fresh William Blake.”
—Mark Greenberg, Review 19