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Discourse Networks and Media Ecologies: Literature, Technology and Culture from the Victorian Age to the Digital Era (MLI 395, Spring 2014)

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Abstract (in English): 

Digital media and computational technologies are revolutionizing our lives by altering relations between our selves, others, and the world. Literacy studies, this course proposes, can help us better understand the digital revolution’s impact by situating its innovative technologies, those “new media” that rapidly lose their aura of newness, within a longer discursive history.

Students will study literary mediations of technological developments from the late-19th century to the present. The emphasis will be on analyzing how modern writers, active in 20th- and 21st-century literary discourse networks, have engaged with technology and responded to the technologization of culture. In an historical survey spanning several literary movements and stages of modernity, we’ll explore how literature, literary theory, and criticism have transcribed the technological imaginary and reconfigured people’s everyday lives and experiences.

Students will be introduced to several literary resources in the digital humanities. Interested students may have opportunities to collaborate in digital-humanities projects affiliated with a literary database (the ELMCIP Electronic Literature Knowledge Base, http://elmcip.net) or one of the Web’s longest-running, open-access, literary-critical journals (ebr, the Electronic Book Review http://www.electronicbookreview.com).

This course was offered in the Spring 2014 semester to MA students enrolled in the Literacy Studies program at the University of Stavanger.

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Eric Dean Rasmussen