English 166

Special Topics: The Social Media of Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2021 Zeavin, Hannah
MWF 12-1

Other Readings and Media

All of our readings will be available in a digital course reader. 


We tend to think of literary composition as a solitary act, but this obscures all the labors of friends, peers, and other readers before a work ever makes it to print. What do social networks and social media do to literary composition, dissemination, and reception? Considering the practice of manuscript-sharing between peers and the details and strategies of longstanding literary correspondences, this course traces the impacts of coterie, schools, and networks in their mediated contexts across the last four hundred or so years, with an emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries. From passing pamphlets back and forth to @ing on Twitter, we will examine what it means to relate and make literary works across distance.

Authors include: Kathy Acker, John Ashbery, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Roland Barthes, Lauren Berlant, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Frantz Fanon, William Gibson, Ishmael Reed, & Mackenzie Wark. Artists include: Chloe Bass, Sophie Calle, Moyra Davey, Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz.

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