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We Have Always Had Mashups, or Mashing Up Transmediality

George P. Landow


After examining the intertwined concepts of media, information technology, and mashups, this essay draws upon examples from ancient Greek literature based upon orality, Latin scribal culture, and printed poetry to demonstrate that the practice of mash-up is central to our understanding of both media and transmediality. Translating texts originally created in another language and verse form exemplifies one major instance of transmediality, and the way Elizabethan English poets self-consciously borrow, rewrite, and challenge Catullus provide far more wonderfully outrageous examples of mash-up than modern musical ones.


mashup; medium; transmediality; literary tradition; transliterality; Catullus; poems

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2015-001-land

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.
Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)