Electronic Literature Senior Seminar Fall 2011

Prof. Chris Funkhouser funkhouser@adm.njit.edu
campus office hours 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Cullimore 425


Course begins September 1

If you have never used moodle before, please review the NJIT moodle tutorials for students, available at http://podcast.njit.edu/moodle/students/getting_started.html. Please familiarize yourself with the system immediately; we will be using it intensively.

Although the subject is Electronic Literature, this is primarily a writing-based course. Most of your final grade will be based on written responses to content presented on the syllabus. While we are all accustomed to speaking more casually online, please keep in mind that the substance and quality of your postings are crucial to your success. For many reasons (i.e., for best results), I recommend that you compose your response to each work using Microsoft Word, and then edit before posting to moodle Forums. Once you have made a formal posting to each Forum (for grading purposes, as explained below), and dialog within a particular forum has been initiated, rigidly following this process may be less important.

Course work:

Online Reading assignments: Each week you will write a summary (250 words) of the experience of encountering the featured work and post it in the appropriate course forum section. In these writings, you will succinctly describe what you are able to understand about each work, supporting your observations with quotes and examples from the material; you should mention any special process(es) you used to interact with the work, and how the content and experience affected you. I am interested in knowing strategies you used to approach the work, as well as insights on the content. Each summary post is worth 4 points. In addition to each summary post you make, you are required to respond to at least one other post in each thread (worth 1 point). My advice is to make your post as directed above, then at the same time write your comment on someone else's post. Once a forum on a topic is started, it will be open for the remainder of the course. These posts (and responses) should be direct (i.e., concise), and include specific details from the material(s) under review. Students should make historical and aesthetic connections between works and other expressive forms whenever possible. The more solid your observations are and the more you participate (and meet the above stated expectations) in the dialogs, the higher your marks will be. Online log/discussion postings should be used to raise issues and ask questions about the work, as well as to develop dialogs about issues raised about the materials. There will be 12 assignments = 60 points total.

Paper or Project (40 points): During the course each student will prepare either a creative project or a formal paper. I encourage use of WWW (including social networking sites) to make a creative electronic literature project. Projects could include (but are not limited to) making hypertext narratives, animations, videos, or other types of coded works. Students wishing to write a detailed, focused paper that identifies common trends in, or does a close reading of a single work of, Electronic Literature may do so. Proposals are due 10/20 (or before).

Week One (9/1): Background, Introductions, Vocabulary Building

Read N. Katherine Hayles, “Electronic Literature: What is It?” http://eliterature.org/pad/elp.html. Read Abstract, Preface, Section 1 (“A Context for Electronic Literature”), Section 2 (“Genres of Electronic Literature”), Section 3 (“Electronic Literature Is Not Print”), Section 4 (“Preservation, Archiving, Dissemination”). You may wish to view links that show examples of works discussed, but I am interested in your thoughts about what Hayles discusses rather than your impressions the artworks. Post response 1 on moodle.

Optional reading: Christopher Funkhouser, “Digital Poetry: A Look at Generative, Visual, and Interconnected Possibilities in its First Four Decades”. http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405148641/9781405148641.xml&doc.view=content&chunk.id=ss1-5-11&toc.depth=1&brand=9781405148641_brand&anchor.id=0. I recommend reading this in order to learn more about the finite, historical, aesthetic developments in a particular genre of electronic literature.

Week Two (9/8): IBM Poetry

"IBM POETRY: Exploring Restriction in Computer Poems" (http://web.njit.edu/~funkhous/2008/machine); download and read the lecture, be sure to follow along with the slides on the website. You can also hear me deliver this lecture online via http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Funkhouser-IBM-Poetry.html. A PDF of Emmet Williams' introduction to IBM will be posted to moodle; download and read it. Download the IBM Poem template and make three different IBM poems using the process. Post your favorite one, along with response 2 discussing your impressions of the exercise, to the IBM Poetry section on moodle.

Week Three (9/15): PyProse & Taroko Gorge

Download/explore/interact with Charles O. Hartman's PyProse (Mac or PC) http://oak.conncoll.edu/cohar/Programs.htm;

Review Nick Montfort's Taroko Gorge, http://nickm.com/poems/taroko_gorge.html;

post response 3, including examples of your favorite PyProse output, to moodle

Week Four (9/22): Literary Games

Read Montfort's article “Literary Games” in Poems that Go Issue 14: http://www.poemsthatgo.com/gallery/fall2003/print_article_games.htm;

Review Jim Andrews' Arteroids (http://vispo.com/arteroids/);

Review Jason Nelson's “I made this you play this we are enemies”, http://www.cddc.vt.edu/journals/newriver/09Spring/madethis/enemyplay.html;

post response 4

Week Five (9/29): Flight Paths

Review Kate Pullinger's Flight Paths, http://www.flightpaths.net/;

post moodle responses

Optional reading: Michael Joyce's Twelve Blue, http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/joyce__twelve_blue.html

Week Six (10/6): synonymovie

Review Eugenio Tisselli's synonymovie, http://www.motorhueso.net/dcr/synonymovie/synonymovie.htm;

post moodle responses

Week Seven (10/13): Newark Review 3.0

Review Newark Review 3.0, http://web.njit.edu/~newrev/3.0;

post moodle responses

Week Eight (10/20): Dawn

Review Alan Sondheim's "Dawn", http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/strasser_sondheim__dawn.html;

post moodle responses

Optional reading: Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, DAKOTA, http://www.yhchang.com/DAKOTA.html

Week Nine (10/27): Loss of Grasp

Review Serge Bouchardon's "Loss of Grasp", http://lossofgrasp.com/;

post moodle responses

Optional reading: Bouchardon, "Touch", http://www.to-touch.com (If you have a webcam, be sure to have it connected for both of these pieces)

Week Ten (11/3): [theHouse]

Review Mary Flanagan's "[theHouse]", http://www.maryflanagan.com/house;

post moodle responses

Week Eleven (11/10): The End of Capitalism

Review Angela Ferraiolo's The End of Capitalism, http://angelaferraiolo.com/end_of_capitalism/capitalism.html;

post moodle responses

Week Twelve (11/17): Carving in Possibilities

Review Deena Larsen's "Carving in Possibilities", http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/larsen__carving_in_possibilities.html;

post moodle responses

Week Thirteen (11/24) - Week Fifteen (12/8): Final Paper/Project

Due on or before 12/8



The NJIT Honor Code will be upheld in this course, and that any violations will be brought to the immediate attention of the Dean of Students.