Due Dates

  • Deformance “itself”: Thursday, November 5 by the end of class (3:15 pm). If your deformance is a physical object, turn it in by bringing it to class. If it is a digital object, email it to me at lct at clemson dot edu.
  • Critical Reflection: Friday, November 6 by 10 pm to the Blackboard “Deformance” portal

Project Overview

Many thanks to Julia Panko for this assignment, which I have only slightly modified for this class.

This assignment is designed to help you explore the relationship between the scholarship on media studies, writing, and print and digital cultures that we have been reading all semester and creative works like Gretchen Henderson’s Galerie de Difformité. The idea is for you to use the scholarship we have been reading to inform your own creative engagement with Henderson’s text.

This assignment is based on the kinds of “deformations” of the book that Henderson encourages via the book’s website (the Exhibits; Exhibits are also incorporated into the print book itself). It is also based on the kinds of reading practices Lisa Samuels and Jerome McGann discuss and perform in their article “Deformance and Interpretation.” Samuels and McGann describe these interpretive practices as “performative operations,” or as “a practice of everyday imaginative life” (26). The point is to use some aspect of the ideas we have been discussing all semester to creatively interpret part of Henderson’s text in some way. You will perform your own interpretive and creative operations on Henderson’s text, “deforming” the text in order to demonstrate/enact/play with/engage/etc etc both the text itself and the scholarship we have been discussing.

How will you deform the Galerie de Difformité?

Assignment Details & Requirements

This assignment has two parts: a deformance of Galerie de Difformité, and a critical reflection.

(1) Deformance of Galerie de Difformité: You will find some way to thoughtfully deform Galerie de Difformité, in a way that highlights some aspect of the ideas that we have been discussing in this class. This creative work might be based on a number of things:

  • A deformation of the entire book
  • A deformation of a page, pages, or other individual part(s) or aspect(s) of the book
  • A deformation of some of the text of Galerie
  • A deformation of one or more of the images in Galerie

You could create a work of book art, a collage, visualizations of the text, a new story reworked from the original story, etc. As long as your new creative work transforms / deforms / remediates / adapts Galerie de Difformité in some way, and you can justify the thought behind it in your critical reflection, you can choose any path that interests you. See the online Exhibits (as well as the Exhibits in the book itself) for further ideas.

There is no minimum “length” for this portion of the assignment.

This portion of the assignment is due by the end of class (3:15 pm) on Thursday, November 5. If you create a physical object, you will bring it to class that day to turn it in. If you create a digital object, you will email it to me at lct at clemson dot edu.

(2) Critical reflection: The accompanying critical reflection should explain and analyze how your deformance of Galerie de Difformité is engaging with the ideas and themes of this course (and, perhaps, of Galerie itself). How does your deformance display your interpretation of the text in connection to a theme or concept or idea from the course and our course readings? Why did you make the choices you did in designing your deformance?


  • Support your explanation and analysis with specific examples from your own deformance.
  • Support your explanation and analysis with specific passages from at least 2 different course readings (scholarship on our syllabus). The one restriction here is that you must include at least 2 course readings that you did not discuss in your midterm.
  • 3-4 double-spaced pages (1000-1400 words). However, keep in mind that if your deformance is very short or simple, you should write a slightly longer critical reflection so that it properly attests to the level of thought you have put into the project. Just ask me about this if you have questions.

This portion of the assignment is due by Friday, November 6 at 10 pm to Blackboard.


  • I highly prize creative takes on this assignment. However, “creativity” does not mean that anything goes or that my standards are lower. The best deformances will be thoughtful, compelling and effective in their presentation. The best critical reflections will take the time and care to show, in detail and using specific examples, how the deformance project relates to specific ideas and themes from the course and the course readings.