2005/ English 597: Special Topics
on the Web
This experimental course will examine how the internet,
the digitizing and electronic archiving of texts, and new technologies
are transforming the way we read, write, and respond to literature.
We will attend to the historical, social, political, and cultural
implications of emerging textualities as we focus on hypertexting,
textual intervention, and immersive mediums. To explore these approaches
we will create new texts and text-based virtual reality environments,
published on WMU homepages
and Secondary World
MOO. Our materials will including on-line syllabi, hypertext novels,
cyberpunk fiction, archives, ezines, electronic games, web publishing,
MOOs, blogs and so on.
The class was designed to be taught in the English Department's
wireless, laptop classroom.' Literature on the Web' should appeal
to students who are already interested in technology as well as to
students who have little or no experience in this area but who are
intrigued by literature and new approaches to studying and teaching
This class should engage student interest, creativity,
and deepen understanding of literature and culture. As an experimental
class it calls for unusual flexibility, independence, dedication,
and creativity. Attendance and class participation are essential;
missing more than four classes may lead to failing the class. If this
or other classes cause stress, Literature on the Web provides free
on-line therapy -- talk to Eliza!
Jackson, Shelly. The
Gibson, William. Neuromancer.
Murray, Janet. Hamlet
on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace.
Essays in packet.
On-line essays, web sites, literary works, magazines, journals, and archives.
McGann, Jerome. Radiant
Textuality: Literature After the World Wide Web.
Aarseth, Espen. Cybertext:
Perspectives on Ergodic Literature.
Landow, George. Hypertext
2.0: The Convergence of Contemporary Theory and Technology.
Wardrip-Fruin, Noah and Pat Harrington. First
Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game
Wardrip-Fruin, Noah and Lev Manovich. The
New Media Reader
Jan. 5, Wed.
|Jan. 10, Mon.
||History of the Present
Read: "Origin of World Literature"
from Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels; from Imagined Communities,
Benedict Anderson; "Cyberspace" from CyberReader
by Benjamin Wooley; and, "Bitmapping" from Interface
Culture by Steven Johnson
Write: Drawing on these texts and your own knowledge, how do you think
the emergence of the internet will effect the way people think and
understand the world?
Garden of Forking Paths Jorge Luis Borges (1941); As
We May Think Vannevar Bush (1945); "Hypertext
and Intertextuality" George Landow (1992)
Study Questions, The
Modern World, Hypertext:
The Convergence of Contemporary Theory and Technology George
|Jan. 17, Mon.
|| MLK DAY
Jan. 19, Wed.
|4-5:30 "Teaching About MLK,"
Sangren Hall 2304
|Jan. 24, Mon.
Jan. 26, Wed.
|Read: The Patchwork Girl Shelly
(Electronic Text Center), Georgetown
Institute of Health, Mary
on The Patchwork Girl, Hayles'
Girl of Oz.
Write: Notes on reading The Patchwork Girl
|Jan. 31, Mon.
Feb. 2, Wed.
On-line Literary Archives
Read from Radiant Textuality, Introduction, Chap.
Rationale of Hypertext,"
Closely study three literary
archives. Choose two from the list and find another on your
own. Prepare a presentation for the class about one of the archives.
What does it contain? How does it work? Strengths and weaknesses?
Feb. 7, Mon.
Feb. 9, Wed.
Hypertext Writing Assignment: Create your own hypertexted
literary work, or portion of a literary work. Use texts and/or images.
Try to make your approach interesting and meaningful. Due: Feb.
14 (Post on your own homepages
|Feb. 14, Mon.
Read Textual Intervention: Critical and Creative Strategies for
Literary Studies by Rob Pope, Chapter 1 (handout)
|Feb. 16, Wed.
||Tour some new archives. Brainstorm some
textual intervention possibilities.
Feb. 21, Mon.
Feb. 23. Wed.
Textual Intervention Project: Create your own "textual
intervtion" and write at least a paragraph about how this intervention
effects the meaning of the source text. Due: Mar. 7 (Post on your
own homepages website.)
|Feb. 28 - Mar. 4
|Mar. 7, Mon.
Library of Babel by Borges, Essays: The
Dream of Cyberspace, The
Library of Babel and the Internet
|Mar. 9, Wed.
||Imagining the Future
by William Gibson
Mar. 14, Mon.
Future of Narrative?
Hamlet on the Holodeck, chapters 1-6
Mar. 16, Wed.
|Read: Finish Hamlet on the
|Mar. 21, Mon.
Mar. 23, Wed.
Mar. 28, Mon.
Immerse Yourself in MOOS and
to MOOing, Mud Connect,
Rachel's Super MOO List,
Rachel's Super MOO List: Educational
MOOs, Lingua MOO,
Worlds MOO, Reading about literary MOOs. Exploration of literary
MOOs. Designing and building a text based literary MOO of your own
in the Secondary Worlds server space. Come to class ready to share
MOO experiences and evaluation.
Own Literary MOO
Bring to class a couple of pages of ideas about a literary MOO you
would like to create.
Apr. 4, Mon.
Apr. 6, Wed.
Build Your Own MOO: Workshop
Additional reading to be announced.
|Apr. 21, Thu. 12:30-2:30
Williams, "Elizabeth's Story," "This is Just
A resource for writers, good background.
Resource Center for
The Association of Internet Researchers
History of the Internet by Bruce Sterling
Resources-Hypertext by Jack Lynch, Rutgers Newark
"Literature on the Web" Courses
and Hypertext Carolyn Guertin, Athabasca University
Studies Derek Stanovsky, Appalachian State University
Brian Alexander, Centenary College of Louisiana
Ian Lancashire, University of Toronto
Fiction and Theory, Rita Raley, University of Minnesota
The Computer and
the Text Jason Rhody, University of Maryland
Hypertext Fiction Robert Arellano, Brown University
and Theory Len Hatfield, Virginia Tech
the Internet Jillana Enteen, University of Central Florida
Reading and Writing David Miall, University of Alberta
in Hyperspace David Soloman, University of Connecticut