The Digital Era has produced countless venues for distributing and managing information -- in electronic databases, the social media, multinational technology companies  (such as Amazon) and other easily available repositories of cultural exchange. These virtual ‘catalogues,’ which encompass serious academic archives as well as dubious websites with biased mappings of historical events, offer a cornucopia of materials often consumed without any filters or regulatory mechanisms. In these ‘electronic wastelands,’ infinite amounts of data are amassed and made available for uncritical consumption. The digital discourses on the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol and the Covid pandemic are prominent examples of counterfactual syllogisms originating from information mismanagement. In a now famous comment from July 2021, U.S. president Biden accused the social media, and Facebook in particular, of “killing people” by disseminating misinformation about vaccination.

This special issue of AmLit looks at the challenges that digitalization as a process of information management poses for the production of cultural memory, including the creation of ‘empty discourses’ in the realms of political and cultural practice. To what extent is the digital world – and are we – equipped to cope with the pitfalls of an unhinged distribution of half-truths and barely reflected knowledges? How do these oftentimes denunciatory digital practices generate and influence communication in everyday lives?

Full Issue

Vol. 3 No. 1 Electronic Wastelands?

Electronic Wastelands? Information Management, Cultural Memory, and the Challenges of Digitality

Stefan L. Brandt, Frank Mehring, Tatiani G. Rapatzikou

4-14 |

Preserving American Cultural Memory through Web Archives: The Case of the Internet Archive

Paschalia Mitskidou, Vasileios N. Delioglanis

36-54 |

Bodies, Brains and Burnt-out Systems in Don DeLillo's The Silence

Despoina Feleki

55-73 |