My Academic Podcast Episode April 6, 2021

Post-Internet Literature: Alt-Text

11:00am - 11:29am

Written and produced by Olivia Dreisinger
Edited by Olivia Dreisinger and Tristan Douglas
Podcast Transcript:…/edit?usp=sharing

This episode will trace the history of alt-text* and ask if alt-text can be considered literature. Who created alt-text? Why has the writing of alt-text been sidelined to AI bots? Can artificial intelligence write alt-text poetry?

With thanks to Calliope Constellation, q, Ian Mitchell, Jenkin Benson, Alexandra Box, and Tristan Douglas for providing alt-text and/or voice over for this podcast episode. I would also like to thank Hanna Sheehan for providing the screen reader recording used in the intro as well as providing essential feedback on the script.

*A footnote from the podcast transcript: Now, I should also point out that I will be using the terms “alt-text” and “image description” interchangeably throughout this podcast, although they do mean slightly different things. From Finnegan and Coklyat’s Alt-Text as Poetry: “Alt-text is a type of image description, but not all image descriptions are alt-text [...] ‘Image description’ is a more general term — it refers to any description of an image, including one that is included in the body of a post or the caption field of an image,” whereas alt-text is embedded in the HTML code of an image (21).