English R1B

Reading and Composition: Literature, Media, and Technology

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2020 Wilson, Mary
MWF 12-1 39 Evans

Book List

Forster, E.M.: The Machine Stops; Rankine, Claudia: Citizen; Rooney, Sally: Conversations with Friends

Other Readings and Media

Course reader and online texts


The evolution of what is broadly termed “new media” is fraught with contradictions. Between the lingering utopianism of John Perry Barlow’s 1996 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” and the present state of Twitter wars, 4Chan, and Facebook privacy violations, our conception of what the internet is and does has evolved with the rapidity of the news cycle. In this class we will consider how works of literature have responded to this evolution. We’ll consider texts that imagine, lament, celebrate, and reproduce mediated forms of life, and we will learn how to analyze “texts” that have abandoned print in favor of Twitter, html, and streaming video. Supplementary readings and media will include work by Jorge Louis Borges, Teju Cole, Jon Bois, Wendy Chun, Hasan Elahi, and others. 

The primary aim of this course is to develop students' critical thinking, writing, and research skills. To this end, students will complete weekly writing assignments and draft two research papers during the course of the semester.

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