Syllabus for English 118 (section 4) Creative Nonfiction in Electronic Media, 2006

Professor Landow (office: 338 Carr House; e-mail:; office hours: 1.15-2:15, Tuesday and Thursday. Class meets K-hour the 2.30-3:50 PM, Tuesday and Thursday in the Multimedia Lab Classroom (enter by the spiral staircase in the Grad Center on Thayer Street) with an occasional lab session in the Grad Center Multimedia Lab 7:00-9:00 PM.

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

Week 2. Tuesday, 27 January, through Thursday, 1 February. Moving Text into E-space: The Place of Nonfiction in the History of Information Technologies, — Speech, Writing, Print, Digital Media .

Readings: (1) Tom Wolfe, "The Pump House Gang." (2) Hypertext 3.0, pp. 29-48. Web materials: What is a Medium? and What is Information technology?

Writing assignment and Resulting question sets.

Week 3. Tuesday, 6 February, and Thursday, 8 February. Hypermedia.

Readings: (1) Hypertext 3.0, Ch. 1-2; (2) Bush, "As We May Think;" Writing assignment: (1) Basic html; (2) Translating Wolfe into Digital Form.

Week 4. Where do I start, and how do I stop this thing? Beginnings and Endings in E-texts. Tuesday, 13 February, through Thursday, 15 February.

Readings: (1) Beginnings in Didion, Johnson, Ruskin, Swift, Wolfe, and selected e-texts; (2) Hypertext 3.0, 107-23. Writing assignment: Create two different beginnings for one of the assigned authors or for something you have written yourself.

Suggested additional reading: Said, Beginnings (R).

Week 5. 20 February, through Thursday, 22 February. Telling Stories in Print, E-text, and Hypermedia.

Readings: (1) Selected hypertext narratives; (2) Hypertext 3.0, Ch. 6.

Week 6. 27 February, through Thursday, 1 March. Nonfictional Genres: The Essay. Tuesday, 13 February, through Thursday, 15 February.

Readings: (1) Michel de Montaigne, "Of Cannibals" [text -- reading questions]; (2) Samuel Johnson, selected essays: Rambler 172, 180, 182, 184, Adventurer 84. (3) Steve Cook, Writing as Virus: Hypertext as Meme.

Week 7. 27 February, through Thursday, 1 March. Nonfictional Genres: New Journalism and the Symbolical Grotesque, or The Modern Sage as Exegete of the Real.

Readings: (1) Joan Didion, "The White Album;" (2) Wolfe, "The Put-together Girl;" (3) Invented vs. Discovered Grotesques (from Elegant Jeremiahs (1986).

Writing assignment: Remember, style is a mode of thought. Translate a substantial passage of Wolfe or Didion into Johnson; translate a substantial passage of Johnson into Didion and Wolfe;

Week 8. Tuesday, 6 March, through Thursday, 8 March. 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.

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

Week 9. Tuesday, 13 March, through Thursday, 15 March. Nonfictional Genres: Travel Writing — The Traveler as Spectator, Listener, Reader, Storyteller.

Readings: John Ruskin," On the Truth of Color" and "On the Truth of Water" (at U.of Lancaster, UK).

Writing assignment: Create passages of two different forms of word-painting.

Week 10. Tuesday, 20 April, and Thursday, 22 April. Writing with Links, or Moving Rhetoric into E-space.

Readings: Hypertext 3.0, chapters 3 and 5.

Spring Recess. 24 March through 1 April.

Week 11. Tuesday, 3 April, and Thursday, 5 April. Writing as Collage

Readings: Hypertext 3.0,

Writing assignment: Take something you've previously written, either for this course or another, and create an electronic or hypertextual collage.

Week 12. Tuesday, 10 April, and Thursday, 12 April. What Does a Victorian Poem Have to Teach E-writers?

Reading: (1) Tennyson, In Memoriam; In Memoriam web (Storyspace); In Memoriam web (Victorian Web html version). Writing assignment.

Week 13. 17 April, through Thursday, 19 April. Writing with Images.

Reading: ; (2) Writing Assignment: Take one of the multi-document projects you have created and add images and other visual elements to it.

Week 14. Tuesday, 23 April, and Thursday, 25 April. Writing with Moving Images.

Reading: Pearl Maria Forss, Authorship; (2) miscellaneous Director and Flash projects.

Reading Period: 27 April-8 May; classes will meet for part of reading period

Final projects are due at 5 pm on the date exam in scheduled.

Related Resources

Cyberspace Web Overview Creative Nonfiction related courses

Last updated 8 March 2007