Digital and gendering (literary, linguistic)

Laura Fortini, Teresa Numerico

Originated from the political instances of the women’s movement in the seventies, the feminist literary criticism has been confronting itself with the issue of language gendering for decades. This is particularly true for what concerns the gendering of the language among women in literary texts written by both Italian and foreign authors. As per the nineties, however, the increasingly articulated presence in the digital network of writers that seem to conceal the gendered body coincides, at least chronologically, with the deconstruction of the sexual gender began with the formation of queer studies, whose founding texts is Gender Trouble by Judith Butler. This paper seeks therefore to analyze the role and the configuration of the digital world as a place for the problematization of literary and linguistic gendering issues.
In which way, in fact, does the binomial Nature / Culture – boldly and defiantly challenged by Donna Haraway in her Cyborg Manifesto – meet the demands of LGBT community? How much does it affect the LGBT instances and how much is it influenced by them? And lastly, but most importantly, can the literary text still be definable as a “located” entity, unrelated with the gendered body, whatever type of gender identity is implied? Or, as many have observed it, are we witnessing a case of biological essentialism?
Arising from women’s writing criticism, the above questions will be extended also to men’s writing as well as any other writing originating from sexual identities configured according to the concept of desire. In this way, the present investigation will be focusing on the role of the digital world as a place for the problematization of sexual dynamics into literary and linguistic productions.