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Jessica Nicol

Position: 

Graduate Fellow 2017-18

Biography: 

Jess Nicol is a PhD candidate in the Department of English, where she specializes in creative writing and fictocriticism. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories, as well as her dissertation project: a genre-bending, collage-like exploration of the lives of material and digital objects, which focuses on the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction as its case study.

Research Activities: 

Lost in the Stacks: A Fictocritical Study of Material and Digital Objects in the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction

My project, Lost in the Stacks, examines the digital preservation of unique material artifacts and collections, using the ongoing digitization of the Bob Gibson Collection of Speculative Fiction as its case study. I am studying a subset of this print archive of books, magazines, and handcompiled anthologies in order to interrogate the limits of preserving Gibson’s collection digitally by identifying certain aspects of material objects that are lost in digital manifestations. I will explore the possibility of bridging this divide between material and digital texts, by comparatively studying and utilizing both types of media and analyzing their particular advantages and detriments in my own written work. My dissertation takes the form of an experimental novella that uses both creative and critical writing, displayed in print and digital forms, and offers a new, exploratory vision for preserving the uniqueness of Gibson’s texts, in order to promote meaningful engagement with the archive for scholars and general readers alike.

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