Youngmin Kim

Panel 1C: Theories and Philosophies of Transcodification/1
Session 1 – July 1, 11:00 – 13:00

Converging Transmedia, Digital Humanities, and World Literature: The Poetics of Database and Transcodification

Literary text files, artistic images or virtual spaces are transformed into the datasets of computerized algorithms, are stored, retrieved and sorted through digitized networks in the internet, and are written to the output device in emergent and novel forms of digital communication. It is surprising how world literature, transmedia arts, and digital humanities (with their datasets of texts, images, and virtual spaces respectively) remain far too secluded in research and professional discourse. While specialists in world literature have researched the impact of international projects in translation, artists, curators, and scholars of the digital arts and humanities have experimented with novel forms of transmedia communication whose platforms are equally accessible to audiences across the internet.
By converging the fields of world literature, transmedia, and the digital humanities, this presentation will reveal an innovative attempt to forge an international dialogue between specialists of world literature and digital media in order to understand the shifting terrains of the technological sublime in the medial age of hyperconnectivity. The rationale of the convergence lies in the issue of code. In following Jerome McGann’s argument, humans create “digital markup schemes” of “electronic encoding systems” mapping the markup of the paper-based texts, in order to translate the vast corpora of the traditional texts into digital forms. Translation and transcodification work in tandem since the traditional “manuscript and print technologies” provide arresting models for information technology tools. As McGann explains, SGML, XML, and its derivatives are coding systems for storing and accessing records, and this markup code for storing objects (or textual objects for TEI) is necessary to get access and to search for the informational content. (“16. Marking Texts of Many Dimension,” (


Youngmin Kim got his Ph. D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is currently Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Dongguk University, and Jack Ma Chair Professor of Ma Yun Education Fund at Hangzhou Normal University. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Journal of English Language and Literature. He was Visiting Professor at Cornell University and Sapporo Gakuin University in Japan, and the Visiting Scholar at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. He had served as executive council member and editorial board member of many international associations and journals. His current interest is modern and contemporary British, Irish, and American poetry, critical theory and psychoanalysis, comparative and world literature, and digital humanities. He is the Director of Digital Humanities Lab. He is currently the Director of the research project, “Trans Media, Digital Humanities, and World Literature” (2017-2020), supported by the National Research Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Korea.