Syllabus for English 100 (section 4) New Media and Hypertext Fiction, Semester II 2004

Professor Landow (office: 338 Carr House; e-mail:; office hours: 1.00-1:50, Tuesday and Thursday. Class meets in the Grad Center Multimedia Lab Classroom, Wednesday, 6:30-8:50 PM with an occasional hypertext lab, Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM.

Note: Check this on-line reading list at the beginning of each week since assignments may change or be reordered.

Classweb: Cyberspace, Hypertext and Critical Theory

Weeks 1 and 2. 28 January and 4 February. Digital Textuality and Digital Images. (1) some preliminary definitions; (2) digital vs. analogue media; (3) electronic and print media

Class lectures: What is a "medium? What are "media" -- and what kind of writing environment does each create? Instances: Jason Williams, Zoe (Director); early Macromedia Director Webs from RISD: Checker, Dadagian, Fung, and other projects. (On Zip cartridges in MML)

Reading: Begin exploring the hypertext and related sections of the Cyberspace and Critical Theory Web as well as other World Wide Web resources. Take a look at Christy Sheffield Sanford's Safara in the Beginning; Judy Molly, Baithouse; Game as text: Dancing Bush.

Technical topics: scanning and basic photoshop, if needed.

Recommended works about infotech: Ong, Orality and Literacy, McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy.

Week 3. 11 February. Hypertext: an Introduction

Adelman and Kahn's animation of the Memex; hypertext systems; convergences with critical theory beyond-the-book -- Derrida, Bakhtin, Barthes. Lecture. Technical topic: Introduction to Storyspace.

Reading: (1) Landow, Hypertext 2.0, chapter 1. The place of hypertext in the history of textuality; or textuality and technology. (2) Bush, "As We May Think."

Week 4: 18 February. E-Fest 2004

No class or lab so we can attend readings Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, 7 pm.

Week 5: 25 February. Hypertext Fiction

Reading: Michael Joyce, Afternoon; Landow, Hypertext 2.0, chapter 6. "Reconfiguring Narrative;" [Receommended only: chapters by Liestøl and Douglas in Landow, Hyper/Text/Theory] Lab, if needed. Assignment: Produce a Storyspace web with at least 5 lexias containing (1) one or more images and (2) the three kinds of links possible in Storyspace.

Week 6. March 3. Patchwork Girl and Ultramondane

Reading Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl; Tom McHarg, Ultramondane. Sections on Patchwork Girl in the class web. Technical points and lab: (1) Look at Storyspace assignments; (2) Introduction to html.

Week 6. 10 March. A Quick History of Critical Theory from the Ancients to the Present, with an emphasis upon Structuralism and Poststructuralism.

Reading: Landow, Hypertext 2.0, chapters 1.1 and 2-4. Multimedia and hypertext projects: Steve Cook, Writing as Virus: Hypertext as Meme; Pearl Maria Forss, Authorship; Wee Liang Meng, What is An Author?

Technical points: how to make icons that combine text and image with Photoshop.

Assignment: Using the on-line directions and e-mail instructions, produce and e-mail to me two html documents containing one or more links.

Week 7. 17 March. Roland Barthes, The Act of Reading, and Active Reading.

Reading: Barthes, S/Z; Adam Wenger, Adam's Bookstore and other Storyspace webs (to be distributed on Zip disk or CD in lab).

Week 8. 23 March. Bakhtinian Fictions

Reading -- Bakhtinian fiction: David Yun, Subway Story; Don Bosco, Fast City; Stuart Moulthrop, Hegirascope

Suggested addition reading: Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, xxxi-ix, 5-46, and The Dialogic Imagination, "Introduction," 3-83, 259-422.

Friday 25 March: Midterm assignment due.

The midterm project consists of two related exercises and involves creating (1) a substantial Storyspace web that communicates your understanding of hypertext and its potential as an environment for storytelling. (2) an html version of your Storyspace web. (They should differ considerably.)

Spring Recess. 27 March through 4 April.

Week 10. 7 April. Reconfiguring Writing: the Rhetoric of Hypermedia, and Writing with Images

Reading: Landow, "Reconfiguring Writing" (Chapter 5 in Hypertext 2.0); Caitlin Fisher, These Waves of Girls; Jane Park, Food for Thought; "Growing up Digerate" and Leni Zumas'a Semio-Surf in Cyberspace web. Chapter by Ulmer in Hyper/Text/Theory. Lab: Performing your midterm assignments.

Week 11. 14 April. Hypertext as lens, or using (the experience of reading with) hypertext to read print (I): Calvino

Reading: Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler . . ..

Week 12. 21 April. In Memoriam: What can a Victorian poem teach us about hyperfiction?

Tennyson, In Memoriam; In Memoriam web (Storyspace on Zip disk).

Weeks 13. 28 April. Puppet Motel, Clues, Pong, and My Name is Captain, Captain

The Residents, Freak Show; Robert Kendall, Clues; Pong; Judd Morrisey and Lori Talley, My Name is Captain, Captain [and Laurie Anderson's Puppet Motel, if I can locate my copy].

30 April-11 May: Reading period

Final project due on day class would have had exam according the University schedule. [Links to final projects]

Related Resources

Some Websites of Interest

Websites of Interest Suggested by Members of the Class

Available from Brown bookstore

Cyberspace Web Hypertext

Last modified: 16 May 2004