Professor Landow (office: 338 Carr House; e-mail:; office hours: 11-12, MWF. Class meets MWF 10:00-10:50 PM, in the Multimedia Lab Classroom (enter by the spiral staircase in the Grad Center on Thayer Street) with lab sessions in the Grad Center Multimedia Lab Wednesdays 7:00-9:00 PM.

Since the course is intended to explore — and invent — new forms of creative nonfiction for electronic media, we shall have several tasks: We must, for example, (1) examine the nature of various kinds of nonfiction, including the essay, autobiography, longform journalism, travel writing, and so on; (2) determine the similarities and differeces of writing for paper and screen reading, for, that is, hard versus soft, physical versus virtual media; and (3) propose new forms of writing that take advantage of the defining characteristics of these new media or solve problems they create.

Week 1. 23-25 January. What is Nonfiction, and what does it have in common with fiction?

Readings: Tom Wolfe, "The Put Together Girl" (To be handed out in class)

Week 2. 28 January-1 February. Moving Text into E-space: The Place of Nonfiction in the History of Information Technologies, — Speech, Writing, Print, Digital Media.

Readings: Hypertext 3.0, pp. 29-48. Preface, Murray, and Manovitch in The Media Reader. Web materials: What is a Medium? and What is Information technology?

Some digtal projects: Stuart Moulthrop's Hegirascope; Bill Marsh, Tools Built by Anonymous Ancstors' Stephanie Strickland's V.

Writing assignment: Choose a passage of 1-2 paragraphs from one of the assigned readings, write a 2-3 paragraph introduction with an effective transition to the passage, and then ask 4-5 questions about what effects the author's ideas have on how we will write nonfiction in e-space. [Your question sets for the first two weeks]

Week 3. 4-8 February: Writing with Images and Sound

Reading: Jody Zellen, All the news that fit to print; Sound: Heather Raikes, The Wave. [These last two may be down temporaily: Christy Sheffield Sanford's Safara in the Beginning. Judy Molly, Baithouse]

Tasks and skills in Wednesday evening lab, 8-9 pm: Scanning, working with Photoshop, manipulating images. The visual elements of writing. (2) Writing Assignment (due Thursday evening): (a) Take someting you you have written and add images and other visual elements to it. (b) Write a brief explanation of what you have discovered, problems encountered, advantages you perceive. [Projects]

Week 4 (11-15 February) Hypermedia I

Readings: (1) Hypertext 3.0, Ch. 1-2; (2) Bush, "As We May Think" in The Media Reader or online;" Nelson "A File Structure" and selections from Computer Lib; Recommended: writings by Berners-Lee, Englebart and McLuhan in the Reader. Writing assignment — Translating something you've written into Basic html.

Tasks and skills in Wednesday evening lab, 7-10 pm: Flash I by Emily Roberts [Note that earlier scheduled labs for this and next week have been switched.]

Week 5 Hypermedia II: Storyspace, another hypermedia environment

Class and lab meet only on Wednesday, 20 February: No Monday class because of long weekend, and Professor Landow will be away from campus on Friday) — Results of HTML assignmentDirections for reading Storyspace Webs

Writing assignment: A Storyspace hypertext with at least 10 lexias and two images showing 3 kinds of linking.

Week 6 (3-7 March) Hypermedia III — Where do I start, and how do I stop this thing? Where do I start, and how do I stop this thing? Beginnings and Endings in E-texts.

Readings: [Continue reading your Storypsace Webs in class at least through Monday.] (1) Hypertext 3.0, chapters 3 and 5. (2) Beginnings in Arnold, Macaulay, McCarthy, Johnson, Ruskin, and others and selected e-texts;

Tasks and skills in Wednesday evening lab, 7-10 pm: Flash II by Emily Roberts [Note that earlier scheduled labs for this and next week have been switched.]

Writing assignment: Create two or more different beginnings (or endings) for one of the assigned authors, or for something you have written yourself.

Week 6 (10-14 March) Hypermedia IV &mdash Writing with Links, or Moving Rhetoric into E-space

Readings: (1) Hypertext 3.0, 107-23. (2) Joyce and Bolter in the Reader.

Tasks and skills in Wednesday evening lab, 7-10 pm: Flash III by Emily Roberts

Week 7 (17-21 March) Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or Fifteen Ways of looking at a Footnote

Readings: (1) Introduction to CSS by Strain and White. (2) Hypertext 3.0, 107-23. (3) Joyce and Bolter in the Reader. Proposals for Final Project

Tasks and skills in Wednesday evening lab, 7-10 pm: Flash IV by Emily Roberts

Week 8 (1-4 April) Grabbing the Reader and Holding on: Creative Nonfiction and the Symbolical Grotesque

Readings: (1) Review Wolfe, "The Put-together Girl;" (2) Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl (on MMLab machines) (3) Invented vs. Discovered Grotesques (from Elegant Jeremiahs (1986).

[Spring recess 22-30 March]

Week 9 (7-11 April) Telling Stories in Print, E-text, and Hypermedia

Readings: (1) Selected hypertext narratives; (2) Hypertext 3.0, Ch. 6. (3) Coover, McLoud in the Reader.

Week 10 (14-18 April) Nonfictional Genres: The Essay

Readings: (1) Michel de Montaigne, "Of Cannibals" [text -- reading questions]; (2) Samuel Johnson, selected essays: Rambler 180, Adventurer 84. (3) Steve Cook, Writing as Virus: Hypertext as Meme.

Week 11. (21-25 April) Nonfictional Genres: Autobiography, Mystories, and the Blog

Readings: (1) Materials on autobiography; (2) Hypertext 3.0, chapter 4; (3) Jeff Pack, Growing up Digerate;" Shelley Jackson, My Body.

Final projects are due at 5 pm Friday.

Writing assignment: Create an autobiographical hyperdocument with least five lexias that employs a symbolical grotesque.

Week 12 (28-31 April) Public Readings of Class Projects

[Class Photograph and Links to Final Projects 2008]

Reading Period: 27 April-9 May; classes will meet for part of reading period

Related Resources

Cyberspace Web Overview Creative Nonfiction related courses

Last updated 8 March 2007