Exploring the Readers’ and the Writer’s Roles in Joyce R. Walker’s Hypertext “Textural Textuality: A Personal Exploration of Critical Race Theory” (2002)

Sofia Politidou


This article explores the multiple possibilities offered when literary and technological media are combined to influence and reshape the relationship between readers and writers, as evidenced in Joyce R. Walker’s hypertext “Textural Textuality: A Personal Exploration Of Critical Race Theory” (2002). Walker blends life experience with scholarly theory in order to explore the causes of social discrimination and injustice, while at the same time maintaining a critical position in respect of new media technologies. In order to explore this text’s various dimensions, this essay will look to formative approaches to hypertext, especially with reference to linearity, navigation, and reading processes and experiences, in critical works by Espen Aaseth, Jessica Pressman, George P. Landow, and N. Katherine Hayles. Particular emphasis is given to the idea, promoted by Janet H. Murray, Brian McHale, and Aarseth, that hypertext’s interactive qualities involve both readers and writers in the production of the literary object. Such interactivity, this essay argues, blurs the boundaries that have conventionally separated readers and authors, with reading and writing assigned to both agents in this transformative literary medium.


hypertext, hypertext navigation, hypertext linearity, new media technologies, electronic literature

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