George Landow (professor)

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George P. Landow is Professor of English and Art History Emeritus at Brown University. He is a leading authority on Victorian literature, art, and culture, as well as a pioneer in criticism and theory of Electronic literature, hypertext and hypermedia. He also pioneered the use of hypertext and the web in higher education.


George Landow has published extensively on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, specifically the life and works of William Holman Hunt and John Ruskin.

Landow is also a leading theorist of hypertext,[1] of the effects of digital technology on language, and of electronic media on literature. While his early work on hypertext sought to establish design rules for efficient hypertext communication,[2] he is especially noted for his book Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Literary Theory and Technology, first published in 1992, which is considered a "landmark"[3] in the academic study of electronic writing systems,[4] and states the view that the interpretive agenda of post-structuralist literary theory anticipated the essential characteristics of hypertext.[3]

In Hypertext Landow draws on theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Gilles Deleuze, Paul de Man, and Michel Foucault, among others,[1] and argues, especially, that hypertext embodies the textual openness championed by post-structuralist theory and that hypertext enables people to develop knowledge in a non-linear, non-sequential, associative way that linear texts do not.[5] Though he has been a consistent proponent of visual overviews and navigational maps, he has long argued that hypertext navigation is not a problem -- that hypertexts are not more difficult to understand than linear texts. [6]

Landow also pioneered the use of the web in higher education with projects such as The Victorian Web, The Contemporary, Postcolonial, & Postimperial Literature in English web[1], and The Cyberspace, Hypertext, & Critical Theory web[2].[7]

Select works[edit]

  • Hypertext 3.0 : Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. ISBN 0801882567
  • Hypertext 2.0. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. ISBN 0801855853
  • Hypertext : The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. ISBN 0801842808
  • Hyper/Text/Theory, 1994
  • Hypermedia and Literary Studies, 1994 (with Paul Delany)
  • The Digital Word: Text-Based Computing in the Humanities, 1993 (with Paul Delany)
  • Elegant Jeremiahs: The Sage from Carlyle to Mailer, 1986
  • A Pre-Raphaelite Friendship: The Correspondence of William Holman Hunt and John Lucas Tupper, 1986
  • Ladies of Shalott: A Victorian Masterpiece and Its Contexts, 1985
  • Images of Crisis: Literary Iconology, 1750 to the Present, 1982
  • Victorian Types, Victorian Shadows; Biblical Typology in Victorian Literature, Art, and Thought, 1980
  • Approaches to Victorian Autobiography, 1979
  • William Holman Hunt and Typological Symbolism, 1979
  • The Aesthetic and Critical Theories of John Ruskin, 1972

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Goody, Alex (2011). Technology, Literature and Culture. Cambridge: Polity. p. 123. ISBN 9780745639536. 
  2. ^ Aarseth, Espen J. (1997). Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 90. ISBN 0801855780. 
  3. ^ a b Hayles, N. Katherine (2007-01-02). "Electronic Literature: What is it?". The Electronic Literature Organization. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  4. ^ "George P. Landow". Eastgate. 2003. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ White, Andy (2007). "Understanding hypertext cognition: Developing mental models to aid users’ comprehension". First Monday 12 (1). Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  6. ^ Mandl, Heinz (1990). Designing Hypertext/Hypermedia for Learning. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. 
  7. ^ Bolter, J. David (2000). Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed.). Mahwah, N.J: Erlbaum. pp. 116–117. ISBN 0805829199. 

External links[edit]