Class Schedule

CLASS SCHEDULE

NOTE: Do not get behind. The compressed nature of this course makes it extremely difficult to catch up.

Unit One: New Literacies for a Wired World (January 2 – 8)

Unit Questions:

  • What exactly counts as “literature” in the electronic age?
  • Do electronic documents and the internet promote the reading of literature (i.e., not just news and email), and what forms does that literature take?
  • How are our current developments in literacy and media similar/different to such changes in the past?
  • What can studying the transition from orality to literacy and from manuscript to print tell us about our emergence into a digital literacy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks to each of the forms of literacy studied in this unit (orality, manuscript, print, electronic)?
  • How does HTML function and why is knowing HTML important for understanding literature on the internet?
  • What is meant by “Web 2.0” and how have Web 2.0 technologies altered e-literature?

Assignments & Due Dates

January 2:

  • Create your WordPress account and blog
  • Create your Wikia account and follow the class wiki
  • Create your Google+ account
  • Email the information above to me

January 4: Close reading exercise due

January 7: Basic HTML assignment due

January 2

Defining “Literature” in a digital ageWatch

  1. ENGL 295 Introduction

Read

  1. The Preface and Executive Summary of the National Endowment for the Arts “Reading at Risk” report (ELMS)
  2. Mathew Kirschenbaum, Response to “Reading at Risk” for the Electronic Literature Organization (ELMS)
  3. Walter Ong, excerpts from “Writing Restructures Consciousness” and “Print, Space, and Closure” (ELMS)
  4. Media and Information Technology
  5. Saul Williams, “Coded Language” (ELMS)

Watch

  1. Saul Williams, “Coded Language” on YouTube
  2. Lecture: Language Technologies (blog)

Respond

1. Respond to the discussion prompts on the class blog

January 2

Course Overview Quiz

January 3

Close reading: a foundation for literary analysis
Watch

  1. The Close Reading Cooperative: Introduction
  2. The Close Reading Cooperative: Etymology, part 1
  3. The Close Reading Cooperative: Metaphor

Read

  1. L. Kip Wheeler, “Close Reading of a Literary Passage”
  2. Sample close reading of Saul Williams’s “Coded Language” (ELMS — Download this file, don’t read it in the ELMS preview because you won’t see my notes if you don’t download it.)

Watch

  1. Lecture on close reading and explication of sample close reading of “Coded Language” (blog)

Respond

  1. Homework: Close reading exercise. Write a close reading of your favorite song (due January 4th by 10 pm)

January 6

HTML: The ABCs of internet literacyWatch

  1. Introduction to HTML
  2. How to create a basic HTML based web page

Practice

  1. Compete the Web Fundamentals exercises 1 and 2 (“HTML Basics” and “Build your own Webpage) from Codeacademy.com

Respond

  1. Homework: Create a basic HTML based fan site (Due January 7th by 10pm)

Web 2.0 and Wikis

Read

  1. “Web 2.0” from ExplainingComputers.com
  2. Wikipedia entry on Wikis

Watch

  1. Basic wiki editing

Respond

  1. On the class blog, discuss your experience learning to use HTML and editing a wiki in the context of the Ong reading and the concept of “technologies of language.” How is HTML literacy different from or the same as the way you use language regularly?

January 7

Remix CultureRead

  1. Cory Doctorow, “Anda’s Game
  2. China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work” The Guardian
  3. Cory Doctorow, answer to FAQ “Why do you give away your books?”
  4. Anda’s Game Remixes and Graphic Novel (link on the top left)
  5. The Creative Commons License (read and watch the short video)

Play

  1. Play “Super PSTW Action RPG”
  2. Read the review of “Super PSTW Action RPG” by Axman13 posted on the class blog.

Watch

  1. The response to “Press Space to win RPG”
  2. Lecture on remix culture (blog)

Respond

  1. Personal blog entry one: intertextuality and remix culture

January 8

Unit One Quiz

Unit Two: Electronic Literature (January 8 – 15)

Unit Questions:

  • What are the different types of electronic literature (e-literature)?
  • What does e-literature inherit from traditional forms of literature?
  • How does e-literature differ from print or manuscript literatures?
  • What literacies are required to read and participate in the production of e-literature?
  • How does electronic literature figure into broader latter 20th, early 21st century literary movements?
  • Who are some of the major literary figures associated with electronic literature?
  • What is the relationship between video games and literature?
  • Are video games art or merely entertainment?

Assignments & Due Dates

January 15: Midterm paper

January 8

Introduction to electronic literatureRead

  1. N. Katherine Hayles, Electronic Literature: What is it? Preface and Sections 1-2 (Also available on ELMS)
  2. Read the following examples of electronic literature as described by Hayles
    1. Hypertext Fiction: Shelly Jackson, My Body
    2. Code Work: Damon Harmon, Waiting (scroll down, midway through the page)
    3. Flash Poetry: Robert Kendal, Faith
    4. Generative Poetry: Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Regime Change

Watch

  1. Lecture “What is Postmodernism?” (blog)
  2. Lecture on electronic literature (blog)

Respond

  1. Respond to discussion prompts on the class blog

January 9

Hypertext fictionRead

  1. Robert Coover, “The End of Books” (ELMS)
  2. Spend 30 minutes reading Caitlin Fisher’ These Waves of Girls
  3. Jessica Laccetti, “Where to Begin?: Multiple Narrative Paths in Web Fiction” (ELMS)

Watch

  1. Lecture on These Waves of Girls

Read

  1. Return to These Waves of Girls for an addition 30 minutes — On your re-reading, think of how the meaning of each lexia changes as you read it again. How does meaning “accrete” as you encounter the text a second (or third, or fourth) time?
  2. Paul LaFarge “Why the Book’s Future Never Happened”

Respond

  1. Personal blog entry two: form and function in These Waves of Girls. Choose one of the themes explored by Fisher in These Waves of Girls and write about the ways in which the form of hypertext fiction is particularly suited to explore it.

January 10

Digital Poetry–the poetics of interactionRead

  1. Loss Pequeño Glazier, “White-Faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares”
  2. Jim Andrews, “Stir Fry Texts”
  3. Reiner Strasser and M.D. Coverley, “ii — in the white darkness”
  4. Scott Block, “Colors of my Life” — Scott is a UMD student from a previous ENGL 295 class. For those who might be interested in creating a work of digital poetry for your semester project, Scott’s poem gives you a great example of what is possible.

Watch

  1. Lecture on digital poetry

Respond

  1. Personal blog entry three: write a response to one of the digital poems above using your close reading skills and specifically address the interactive element of the poem.

Watch

  1. Lecture: Midterm paper assigned (Due January 15th by 10pm)

January 13

Interactive FictionWatch

  1. Lecture: Introduction to interactive fiction (IF) (blog)
  2. Play through of first few puzzles in Shade (blog)

Read

  1. Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Fiction (IF) Sections 1-3
  2. Review of Shade from Play This Thing.
  3. Andrew Plotkin, Shade — Use the Interactive Fiction “Card” to help you navigate through the text.

Note: It is critical that you read the introduction to Interactive Fiction material; you will be completely lost without it.

Blog Fiction (aka “flogs”)

Read

  1. Blog Fiction Defined
  2. The Urban 30–Read the “About” and three entries of your choice
  3. Chasing K8 — Student blog fiction from a previous term

Respond

  1. Discuss your experience reading Shade on the class blog

January 14

Digital Games and LiteratureRead

  1. IGN.com “The Influence of Literature and Myth in Videogames”
  2. James Paul Gee, “Why Study Video Games Now? Video games: A New Art Form” (ELMS)
  3. “The Art of Video Games” Smithsonian Exhibit

Play

  1. The Great Gatsby for NES (read the “About” then click on “Home” to play the game)
  2. Jason Rohrer, Passage
  3. Jason Nelson, i made this. you play this. we are enemies.

Watch

  1. Interview with Chris Melissinos, Curator of “Art of Video Games” Smithsonian exhibit
  2. Lecture: Video Games and/as Literature (blog)

Respond

  1. Personal blog entry four: Discuss the role of literature in one of the games above.

Midterm Thesis Workshop

I will be available most of the day to review your midterm paper thesis and evidence. Please email me by the 13th to setup a time to meet.

January 15

Unit Two Quiz

Unit Three: Virtual Spaces and Globalization (January 16 – January 21)

Unit Questions

  • How does William Gibson define “cyberspace,” and how accurately does that that definition describe the digital world we live in today?
  • How are the borders between physical space and cyberspace paralleled in the cyborg body?
  • What is “globalization”?
  • How does is our sense of the world changed when we add virtual spaces?
  • In what way has “viral” culture come to define our literary and cultural moment?
  • How has globalization affected forms of cultural production? (literature, film, video games, etc.)
  • How does our conception of borders change in a networked world?

Assignments & Due Dates

January 19: Group wiki pages due by 10 pm

January 24: Semester Projects Due by 6 pm (this is a HARD deadline; the semester will be over and grades are due)

January 16

Cyberpunk and the birth of “cyberspace”Read

  1. William Gibson, “Burning Chrome” (ELMS)
  2. Boulder, Mark, “Reflections on Cyberpunk” (ELMS)

Watch

  1. Live tweet (using Google+ in our Literature in a Wired World Community) Ghost in the Shell (full length film will be made available through ELMS). Begin watching at one of the following times to ensure there are others watching and blogging/Google+ing at the same time:
  • 10:00am
  • 1:00pm
  • 5:00pm

Respond

  1. Personal blog entry five: Discuss the breakdown between physical space and cyberspace in “Burning Chrome” and Ghost in the Shell–how does the breakdown between spaces parallel or reflect the breakdown between human and machine bodies? What are the implications in both cases?

Watch

1. Lecture: Semester Final Project (due January 23 by 6:00pm)

January 17

Transmission: Globalization and Cultural OthernessRead

  1. Hari Kunzru, Transmission pages 1 – 143
  2. Wikipedia Entry on Asperger’s Syndrome (just the introduction and “Characteristics” sections).

Watch

  1. Short documentary on Asperger’s Syndrome
  2. Lecture on globalization of culture (which includes a 10 minute clip of the Bollywood film, Bride and Prejudice) (blog)

Respond

  1. Respond to the discussion prompts on the class blog

January 22

Transmission: viruses as culture and borders in a digital world Read

  1. Hari Kunzru, Transmission pages 144 – End
  2. Infographic: A Guide to Internet Memes
  3. “The Computer Virus: Our Cultural Contagion”
  4. Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph, Flight Paths

Watch

  1. Lecture on “viral culture” and borders in a digital world (blog)

Respond

  1. Respond to the discussion prompts on the class blog

January 22

Unit Three quiz

January 23

Final Exam

Extra Credit:  On the class blog, reply to the “what I learned” prompt.

January 24

Final Projects Due by 6:00 PM
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