2008-2009: Spring Quarter

English 10LC: Introduction to Literary Study–Information (and) Technology in Literature (instructor: Bola C. King). This course will provide an introduction to the study of literature by pursing questions of genre, form, and theory. We will investigate ideas on the nature of communication, of information, and of information technology, and what these mean for literature and for readers of literature. Our investigations will include a broad definition of “literature” and will include novels, film, poetry, and digital and interactive works.

English 10LC: Introduction to Literary Study–Orality and Visuality in Twentieth-Century Literature (instructor: Marthine Satris). This course introduces the genres of poetry, drama, and narrative fiction. We will examine the text on the page, but also beyond it, including poetry and plays in performance, the representation of visual phenomena in language, and the transformation of speech into writing and vice versa. Students will engage with these texts by learning the skills of close reading and analytical writing, and will also be expected to make several podcasts each week, encouraging students to move beyond the written medium in their own compositions.

English 25: Introduction to Literature and Culture of Information (Instructor: Mike Frangos)
Is there culture online?  This class will provide an introduction to the new forms of culture that have emerged in the wake of recent innovations in new and social media (so-called “web 2.0”), including: blogs, wikis, photo and video sharing, “indie” and DIY culture, webcomics, the mashup and the remix, machinima, social networking, flash art and flash games.  We will also pay attention to two of the most recent developments in “Web 2.0” culture: microblogging and lifestreaming.  To make our way through this constellation of new technologies, the course will draw on relevant techniques of analysis from new media studies, cultural studies, and literary close reading.  We will structure our investigation around the topics of culture and subculture, cultural economies, techno-futurism and cyber-libertarianism, the Obama campaign and the new progressive movement, and the avant-gardes and innovation. In addition to a paper and an exam, students will be expected to produce their own social media projects at the end of the quarter.

English 165: Post-Human Fiction (Instructor: Kenneth Brewer)

“The transition from human to posthuman can be defined physically or memetically. Physically, we will have become posthuman only when we have made such fundamental and sweeping modifications to our inherited genetics, physiology, neurophysiology and neurochemistry, that we can no longer be usefully classified with Homo sapiens. Memetically, we might expect posthumans to have a different motivational structure from humans, or at least the ability to make modifications if they choose. For example: transforming or controlling sexual orientation, intensity, and timing, or complete control over emotional responses through manipulation of neurochemistry.” Max More

This course will examine, through fiction, the concept of the “post-human.” Have we become post-human? And if so, how has this happened and what does it mean? Course materials include Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, Michel Houellebecq’s The Elementary Particles, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, and the filmEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

English 197: Upper-Division Seminar–Poetry Lab (instructor: Yunte Huang). Texts include Tender ButtonsPisan CantosCribs, The Muse Learns to Write Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry.

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