English 100

Junior Seminar: Literature and Media Theory

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
15 Fall 2007 Langan, Celeste
Langan, Celeste
TTh 3:30-5 259 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Beckett, S.: Krapp's Last Tape; Danielewski, M.: House of Leaves; Goethe, W.: The Sorrows of Young Werther; Mann, E.:, Four Plays; Johnson, R.: Radi Os; Phillips, Tom: A Humument; Stoker, B.: Dracula; Williams, W.C.: Paterson. Secondary reading: Bolter and Grusin: Remediations; Kittler, F.: Gramophone Film Typewriter; McLuhan, M.: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man


"This course will treat literature�its various genres, including novel, drama, poetry�from the point of view of media theory. Our particular interest will be in the status of the ""document��an historically real or ostensibly real document that is somehow presented, represented, or mediated by the art form (or �platform�) in question. Using Marshall McLuhan�s dictum that ""the content of one medium is always another medium"" as a guiding concept, we will address two central issues. First: by comparing ""documents"" as they are mediated in both 19th- and 20th-century literary forms, we will try to assess the impact of other media, especially photography, film, and recorded sound, on literature�s ""documentary"" evidence. One question that may emerge, as we consider the history of mediation from Dracula to Danielewski�s House of Leaves and the CD Haunted (by Danielewski�s sister, Poe) is why mediation is so often registered an occult or gothic phenomenon. Second: by focusing on the different issues of mediation that emerge when the ""document"" in question is already literary (Johnson�s RADI OS corrosively rewrites paRADIse lOSt), we will attempt to theorize the kind of testimony, the kind of historical document, that literature is, especially for the so-called �new media.�"

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