Fourteen recipes for a sonnet

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This paper discusses a semester-long classroom project in which senior seminar students were required to take Shakespeare’s Sonnet 14 and convert it into various media objects and texts. The assignments made use of Ian Bogost’s “procedural rhetoric” (“a type of rhetoric tied to the core affordances of computers: running processes and executing rule-based symbolic manipulation”), assigning tasks based on the core concepts of “encoding” and “algorithm.” Some objects were electronic (music, twitter feeds) while the majority were physical objects, but they all made use of a procedural rhetoric sketched out by the original shape of the sonnet itself and the long tradition of scanning poems. In doing so, the objects produced force us to ask: where, exactly, do we “hold the light”? Is it e-lit if there’s no “e”?

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Sumeya Hassan