ENGL 4706: Breaking the Book + Digital Media
Meets M, 4:00 - 6:40
M C Morgan email@example.com
- Emerson, Lori. Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound. Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2014 ISBN-10: 0816691266 ISBN-13: 978-0816691265.
- Kitzman, Andreas. Hypertext Handbook: The Straight Story. Peter Lang Publishing, 2006. ISBN-10: 082047441X ISBN-13: 978-0820474410
- McLuan, Marshall, and David Carson. The Book of Probes. Gingko Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 1584232528 ISBN-13: 978-1584232520
Most of the readings for the course will be online and in printable pdf.
http://erhetoric.org/dh/. Any online projects you create will be linked to the wiki. I may need to limit distribution of some materials. If so, links to them will be on the Announcements page of d2l.
- Bring a laptop or tablet for notes and access in class to materials.
- We may look at a few apps and games. No need to purchase these but you are welcome to.
Overview: Selected readings, videos, apps, toys and games (6 weeks)
- the book as technology and interface / reading as naturalized
- changes in mind and habits by way of writing and print
- reading practices: solitary and silent consumption. reading as performance
- recent reading practices: click and drag. tap, pinch, collect, annotate, comment, re-mix, re-distribute
- writing practices: pens, papyrus, fascicles, typewriters, palimpsests ...
- coterie distribution: inscription: sonnets and foul copy
- printing binding, mass distribution: impression. literacy
- analogue and digital scholarship: commonplace books, note-taking. collection and curation
Hypertext: Kitzmann, Hypertext Handbook (3 weeks)
- Non-sequential, topical writing. The association made manifest. The universal library. Hypertext moves us "a long way from the written word and conventions of print culture" and into "a world of hybrid forms that challenge just about everything to do with narrative, representation and meaning" (Kitzmann, 43). Kitzmann also refines some of the common concepts we use pretty loosely in thinking about both analog and digital print and reading - immersion and engagement (61), for instance. We are never very far from literature.
Digital poetics and media archeology: Emerson, Reading Writing Interfaces (3 weeks) (We'll be dipping into this book through the course.)
- digital poetics and media archeology: denaturalizing reading and writing. Four divergent chapters, from iPads to Emily Dickinson's use of fascicles. Studying print culture isn't just about the content. It's about the material objects and use of those objects, too. Emerson takes us on a dig.
Probes, mosaics, word-n-image, aphorisms, attention and antics ... pation: McLuhan and Carson, Probes. (We'll be dipping into this book throughout the course.)
- Contemporary distribution: tweets and memes: word and image, the probe, collection and curation, commonplace books. The idea here is that its not all about singular tweets and lack of attention. Its just as much about collection, curation, and probes. Probes is a good example of how digital print is re-mediating print. There are others - and we'll look at a couple. I chose Probes because its aphorisms and images directly address the topics of the course, and it's browsable.
- Print and digital books as interface. Social history of writing, printing, publishing, digital writing, publishing, and distribution.
- Print, books, and mental habits. How print shapes knowledge.
- The present and future of poetics.
- Alternative constructions and means of meaning-making. Text and image, visual exposition.
- Hypertext and its use in scholarship and published expression. Social history, use in note-taking and constructing knowledge.
- What reading is now, what it has been, and what the significance of reading entails.
In practice, this means we read some things, view some things, do some things, experiment with some things - then meet to consider what we did and what that doing tells us.
The topics we're addressing won't fall into tidy units. A look at writing practices, for instance, may involve looking at how Emily Dickinson worked, viewing a 1968 video of a word processor, tipping into McLuhan's Probes, and playing around with #hashtags on Twitter, as a way of thinking about how the practices of writing are linked to the media and the time. Sprawl is the word. Constellation is how you place apparently disparate things in an order to see patterns in their connections. Curation is the method.
The final project for the course will be your construction of an artifact or material that presents a cumulative understanding or way of seeing what we considered through the semester.