Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Committee Member

Dr. Sean Morey, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. David Blakesley

Committee Member

Dr. Lindsay Thomas

Abstract

This project argues a methodological approach for examining augmented reality (AR) that blends new media studies with that of the digital humanities to develop a hybrid methodology that accounts for AR as a digital medium and, in turn, a critical framework for digital humanities (DH) cultural criticism. As Steven Jones argues in The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, the digital has always been physical, and the network has become "the water in which we swim" (20). Our networked tech has begun to reflect this by showing closer interaction between physical and digital artifacts, the most notable example being AR, where digital information responds directly to physical space. This project takes a multidisciplinary approach to explore the rhetorical and ideological implications of AR as both a technology and a medium. By exploring AR as it relates to current digital humanities scholarship, comparative new media studies, and critical theory, as well as a hands-on approach that involved the development of an AR smartphone application, this project aims to show that augmented reality is uniquely useful as a vessel for future research into digital materiality, while eventually arguing that this tech literalizes imaginative and cognitive processes, ultimately revealing a posthuman ontology where thinking and technology are indistinguishable from one another.

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