Readings are due on the dates indicated. BB indicates a reading can be found on our Blackboard site on the Course Readings page.

Download a PDF of the syllabus here.

Writing and Media Studies

Thursday, August 20

  • Introduction to the course

Tuesday, August 25

  • Lisa Nakamura, “Media,” from Keywords for American Cultural Studies (2014)
  • Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message,” from Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964) (BB)
  • Lisa Gitelman and Goeffrey Pingree, “What’s New About New Media?” from New Media, 1740-1915 (2003)

Thursday, August 27

  • Jentery Sayers, “Technology,” from Keywords for American Cultural Studies (2014)
  • Langdon Winner, “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” Daedalus (1980) (BB)

Tuesday, September 1

  • Reading Response 1 due (on Johnson)
  • Last day to withdraw without a W
  • James Gleick, Ch. 2 “The Persistence of the Word,” from The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (2012) (BB)
  • Plato, selection from Phaedrus
  • William A. Johnson, “Bookrolls as Media” from Comparative Textual Media (2013) (BB)

Thursday, September 3

  • Walter Ong, “Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought,” from The Written Word: Literacy in Transition (1986) (BB)
  • Friedrich Kittler, “Grammophone, Film, Typewriter,” from Literature, Media, Information Systems (1997) (BB)

Print Cultures

Tuesday, September 8

  • Reading Response 2 due (on Eisenstein or Johns)
  • Elizabeth Eisenstein, Ch. 3 “Some Features of Print Culture,” from The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (1983), only read pgs 42, 64-73, 78-89 (BB).
    • Please bring a PRINT copy of this article (just those pages you are assigned to read) to class on Tuesday. Yes. PRINT.
  • Adrian Johns, Ch. 1 “Introduction: The Book of Nature and the Nature of the Book,” from The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (1998), pgs 1-40 (BB)
  • Discussion Hosts (on Johns): Betsy Boggs; Andy Burns

Thursday, September 10

  • Joseph Dane, Ch. 1 “On the Continuity of Continuity: Print Culture Mythology and the Type of the Gutenberg Bible” from Out of Sorts: On Typography and Print Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) (BB)
  • Lisa Gitelman, “Print Culture (Other Than Codex): Job Printing and Its Importance,” from Comparative Textual Media (2013) (BB)

Tuesday, September 15

Thursday, September 17

  • Alberto Manguel, “A Brief History of the Page,” from A Reader on Reading (2011) (BB)
  • Bonnie Mak, Ch. 1 “Architectures of the Page,” from How the Page Matters (2011) (BB)
  • Lisa Gitelman, “What Are Books?”in media res (2009)
  • Discussion Host (on Mak): Karen Stewart

Digital Print Cultures

Tuesday, September 22

  • Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936) (BB)
  • Johanna Drucker, Ch. 5 “The Artist’s Book as a Rare and/or Auratic Object” from The Century of Artists’ Books (2004) (BB)
  • Jessica Pressman, “The Aesthetic of Bookishness in Twenty-First Century Literature,” Michigan Quarterly Review 48:4 (2009) (BB)
  • Discussion Hosts (on Pressman): Hannah Soblo, Kristina Toney

Thursday, September 24

  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000), Introduction and pgs 1-79
  • Sigmund Freud, “The ‘Uncanny’” (1919) (BB)

Tuesday, September 29

  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000), pgs 80-252

Thursday, October 1

  • Midterm handed out in class today
  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000), pgs 253-352

Tuesday, October 6

  • First set of 5 Reading Responses due
  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000), pgs 353-489
  • Johanna Drucker, “Experimental Typography as a Modern Art Practice” from The Visible Word, pgs. 91-104 (1994) (BB)

Thursday, October 8

  • Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000), pgs 491-572

Friday, October 9

  • Midterm due by 10 pm

Tuesday, October 13: NO CLASS – Fall Break

Printed Digital Cultures

Thursday, October 15

  • Larry McCaffery & Sinda Gregory, “Haunted House — An Interview with Mark Z. Danielewski,” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (2003) (BB)
  • Priscilla Coit Murphy, “Books are Dead, Long Live Books,” from Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition (2003)

Tuesday, October 20

  • Leah Price, “Reading As If For Life,” Michigan Quarterly Review 48:4 (2009) (BB)
  • Alan Liu, “The End of the End of the Book: Dead Books, Lively Margins, and Social Computing,” Michigan Quarterly Review 48 (2009) (BB)

Thursday, October 22

  • Gretchen Henderson, Galerie de Difformité
  • Gretchen Henderson, _Galerie de Difformité _online (About and Brief History of the Book)
  • Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann, “Deformance and Interpretation,” New Literary History (1999) (BB)
    • Read pgs 25-29, 33-45

Tuesday, October 27

  • Last day to withdraw (with a W)
  • Gretchen Henderson, Galerie de Difformité
  • Tara McPherson, “Digital,” from Keywords for American Cultural Studies (2014)

Thursday, October 29

Digital Cultures

Tuesday, November 3

  • Andrea Laue, “How the Computer Works,” in A Companion to Digital Humanities (2004) (BB). Read pages 145-151 only.
  • Lev Manovich, “What Is New Media?” from The Language of New Media (2001) (BB). Read pages 27-48 only.
  • Friedrich Kittler, “There Is No Software” from Literature, Media, Information Systems (1997) (BB)
  • Discussion Hosts (on Kittler): Tanner Massey, Joe Lodico

Thursday, November 5

  • Workshop
  • Deformance itself due by the end of class

Friday, November 6

  • Deformance critical reflection due by 10 pm to Blackboard

Tuesday, November 10

  • Chandra Mukerji, “Me? A Digital Humanist?” from Between Humanities and the Digital (2015) (BB)
  • Wendy Chun, “Introduction,” from Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (2006) (BB). Read pages 1-25 only.
  • Discussion Hosts (on Chun): Hayes Owens

Thursday, November 12: NO CLASS – Instructor out of town

Tuesday, November 17

  • Christopher Strachey, “Loveletters” (1952) (This is a primary, not a secondary text, meaning you can’t do a reading response on it)
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin, “Digital Media Archaeology: Interpreting Computational Processes,” from Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (2011) (BB)
  • Discussion Hosts (on Wardrip-Fruin): Caroline Brittingham, Matthew Stapleton, Teylor Newsome
    • **Moved to recommended reading: **Matthew Kirschenbaum, “Introduction: ‘Awareness of the Mechanism,’” from Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (2008) (BB). Remember that you can still write reading responses on recommended material.

Thursday, November 19

  • Christiane Paul, “The Myth of Immateriality: Presenting and Preserving New Media,” from MediaArtHistories (2005) (BB)
  • Bring laptops to class: Omeka workshop in second half of class

Tuesday, November 24

  • Second set of 5 Reading Responses due
  • Vilém Flusser, Does Writing Have a Future?, pgs. 3-9, 47-61, 111-124, 141-147, 157-161 (1987, 2011) (BB) You may still write a reading response about the Flusser if you need to in order to meet the reading response requirements, but we won’t be reading or discussing it as a class.
  • Please read/explore/think about the following in preparation for today’s workshop:
    • The sample Omeka-based projects listed on the Omeka Terms and Notes page
      • How did these projects design their Collections? What kinds of items are included in their Collections?
      • How did these projects design their Exhibits? What is included in their Exhibits? How are their Exhibits organized?
    • Omeka Site Planning Tips
  • Workshop

Thursday, November 26: NO CLASS – Thanksgiving Break

Tuesday, December 1

  • Bring laptops to class: We will fill out course evaluations at the beginning of class
  • Workshop
  • Groups meet with me to discuss final project

Thursday, December 3

  • Workshop
  • Groups meet with me to discuss final project

Friday, December 4

  • Individual Collection due by 10:00 pm to Dead Writing Technologies Project site
  • List of the individual Items that comprise your Collection and their sources due by 10:00 pm to Blackboard

Finals Week

Thursday, December 10

  • Final Project due by 10:30 am