Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics

Critical Writing
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1995
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In Of Two Minds, noted hypertext novelist and writing teacher Michael Joyce explores the new technologies, mediums, and modalities for teaching and writing, ranging from interactive multimedia to virtual reality. As author of Afternoon: A Story, which the New York Times Book Review termed "the most widely read, quoted, and critiqued of all hypertext narratives," and co-developer of Storyspace, an innovative hypertext software acclaimed for offering new kinds of artistic expression, he is uniquely well qualified to explore this stimulating topic. The essays comprise what Joyce calls "theoretical narratives," woven from e-mail messages, hypertext "nodes," and other kinds of electronic text that move nomadically from one occasion or perspective to another, between the poles of art and instruction , teaching and writing. The nomadic movement of ideas is made effortless by the electronic medium, which makes it easy to cross borders (or erase them) with the swipe of a mouse, and which therefore challenges our notions of intellectual and artistic borders. Joyce makes it clear that we are not just the natural heirs but, through our visions, the architects of new technologies that promise to enact our visions as much as change them. The collection summons writing from artists, poets, teachers, scientists, and feminist thinkers, and in so doing builds on notions of human possibility as a basis for the broadest kind of conversation in what Joyce deems our increasingly multiple, polymorphous, and polylogous culture. (Source: U of Michigan Press catalog)

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Jill Walker Rettberg