Bruce Clarke

Senior Fellow from October 2010 - March 2011.
Bruce Clarke is Professor of Literature and Science in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. He studies the co-evolution of literary and technoscientific developments in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special interests in systems theory and narrative theory. He was Director of the Center for the Interaction of the Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University from 1997 to 2003 and President of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts from 2006 to 2008. He is currently co-editor of *Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology*. Professor Clarke has published *Allegories of Writing: The Subject of Metamorphosis *(SUNY, 1995); *Dora Marsden and Early Modernism: Gender, Individualism, Science *(Michigan, 1996); *Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics *(Michigan, 2001); and *Posthuman Metamorphosis: Narrative and Systems *(Fordham, 2008). He has edited *From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature*, with Linda Dalrymple Henderson (Stanford, 2002); *Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays in Second-Order Systems Theory*, with Mark Hansen (Duke, 2009); and the *Routledge Companion to Literature and Science*, with Manuela Rossini (Routledge, 2010). 

Fields of research
Cultural science studies and literature studies (19th century to present); systems theory, actor-network-theory, and narrative theory; cultures of American systems discourse, second order Gaia theory.

IKKM Research Project

Narrative – Media – Systems

My current work centers on a general consideration of narrative form derived from my immediate area of scholarly expertise—literary criticism and theory. A narrative text in any medium is already and necessarily a semiotic object. The project I will pursue at IKKM, “Narrative – Media – Systems,” further develops my treatment of narrative theory in relation to systems theory in _Posthuman Metamorphosis_ (Fordham 2008) by incorporating insights from media studies, media theory, and medium theory.

One of my aims is to contribute to the dialogue between literary and cinematic narratology. One can start from the important differences as well as the structural parallels between the verbal medium of literary narrative and the visual and auditory mediums of the fiction film. The literary medium allows for fluctuations in the mood and voice of the narrating agent, while the medium of cinematic narration draws instead on its own prodigious register of shots, cuts, and ocular attributions, over and above its auditory components. However, both provide a transmedial reservoir for the play of narrative anachrony, discursive modulations in the order of narrative time, and comparable modes of spatial extension for the play of narrative levels. I am particularly concerned to investigate the extent of this correspondence in textual forms despite the radical differences of mediatic elements.

Bringing systems theory in the discussion, I will continue my research into how the forms of self-reference and reentry play basic structural roles for the operations of narrative observation. The observers of narratives may reconstruct the different forms of semiotic distinction made available by specific narrative mediums to produce comparable diegetic intuitions of systemic productions: sights and sounds, affective states, memories, anticipations, and meanings. This mode of approach to narrative mediation aligns the reception and experience of narratives with the wider epistemological constructivism that continues to renovate our general understanding of observation as a creative act.

My overall aim is to develop a detailed synthesis of narratology, media studies, and systems theory, using the form/medium distinction to renegotiate the topics of time and memory. While in residence at the IKKM I will work on a book manuscript, elaborated through close readings of literary and cinematic texts, centered on a form-theoretical approach to the psychical, technological, and social couplings of narrative, media, and systems.