Syllabus

 English Studies in the Digital Age

@ englishstudiesinthedigitalage.wordpress.com

M/TH 12:15-1:40

Location: SJH 111A

 

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Travis

Department of English

Office: St. John’s Hall, B40-1

Email: travisj@stjohns.edu. Please be in touch via email rather than office phone. I strive to return emails within 24 hours.

Skype: jtprofessor

Google hangout: wgsstj@gmail.com

Office Hours: M/TH 10:45-12:10

Student Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 10:45-12, and by appt. Please note: I am always happy to meet with you in my office. If the above times do not work for you, I will try to coordinate with your schedule. I am on campus Mondays and Thursdays. I encourage you to stop by during my office hours to chat about your work and interests. I am also available via Skype or Google Hangouts. Just let me know you would like to meet virtually and we will arrange a date and time.

Course Format: This course will be conducted as a seminar. Class time will be spent primarily in dialogue and discussion rather than lecture. Everyone should come to class prepared and ready to participate.

Grades will be based on a weekly assignments posted to your blog, class participation,  a midterm reflection paper, and a final project and presentation.

*Always come to class on time. If you are routinely more than 5 minutes late I will counts it as an absence (one or two emergency late arrivals will be tolerated).

*Always come to class with your computer/technology and reading materials and assignments in hand.

*Always come with plans to participate.

*Always keep up with the readings even if class discussion has fallen behind.

*Always treat each other with social and intellectual respect.

Required Books (ebook or used are fine):

All books are available online or at most bookstores, including the St. John’s Bookstore:

Dave Eggers, The Circle

Other texts will be posted as links on our website.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Final project: 40%

Weekly Blog Posts: 30%

Midterm Reflection: 10%

Participation: 20% (includes sparking class discussion, attendance, and presentations)

Students will be asked to share their daily creates with the class. Students will sign up for a specific spark date listed on the syllabus.

Weekly Creates must be complete by 12 pm on the date due, unless otherwise specified. Late assignments will be marked down accordingly.

Academic Integrity: Please refer to the university honor code policy:

http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/provost/overview/integrity/pledge/plagiarism.stj. Copying another person’s words or ideas without crediting him or her constitutes plagiarism. It doesn’t matter what the source: an article, a website, class notes, etc. Plagiarism is serious matter and is grounds for failure of the course and even possibly expulsion from the University. It is important to learn how to document online sources accurately, especially when we will be doing multimodal work (including images, videos, audio, etc.).

Please refer to this guide for more information about using materials from the Internet: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/tutorials/copyright/Reader.html

And http://campusguides.stjohns.edu/content.php?pid=35419&sid=2903653

 

WEEK ONE: Introduction

1/18:   Tim Urban on “The Best Writing Advice for the Digital Age”

4Humanities Manifesto

Introduction to WordPress

 

WEEK TWO: Digital Literacies

1/22:   Digital Literacies…Is Google Making Us Stupid?

View:

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

Nichole Pinkard on Digital Literacies

Read:

Blog:  Send me the URL for your blog.  Please be sure to make it public for the semester (otherwise I can’t read it).

Spark:

1.

2.

 

1/25: The Remix/Mashup

Kenneth Goldsmith Uncreative Writing Excerpt (handout)

View:

Goldsmith, Interview and Reading: Assume No Readership

Goldsmith Reading of Uncreative Writing

Goldsmith appearance on Colbert Report

Read:

“Author, 17, Says its Mixing not Plagarism”

“When the Remix is Just Plain Ole Plagarism”

Blog: Blog about an example of remix culture that you might want to share with the class and write about how it relates to what you have read or viewed for this week.

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK THREE

1/29: Copyright:  Creative Commons with Kathryn Shaugnessy, Libraries

View:

Lawrence Lessig on Colbert Report

Lessig/Colbert Remix

“A Fairy Use Tale (not a Disney movie)”

Read: 

 Jonathan Lethem, “The Ecstasy of Influence”

Blog:  Write about an idea, question, or problem raised in the Lethem article or any of the videos.  Be prepared to share!

 

2/1:  The Selfie

View:

Why We Take Selfies (through Foucault)

Read:

James Franco, “The Meanings of the Selfie”

Jill Walker Rettberg, Seeing Ourselves Through Technology

Anything on this list

Blog:

Choose 3 selfies of yourself and analyze them for your construction of intersecting and overlapping identity characteristics.

Look at all elements of the way you present yourself
—Clothing, pose, facial expression

But also the elements of the framing of the picture:
—Background, lighting, proximity, angle of the camera.

And last any other elements in the picture:
—People, animals, objects…

Questions:
Some questions for reflection as you prepare your response.

What in your selfies is accurate?
What is obscured or ambiguous?
Does the image portray one identity trait more than others?
Where do the images place you in the spectrum of possibilities for each characteristic trait — for example, more or less feminine or masculine.
How might different audiences perceive the images differently?
How is the viewer addressed in the image?
How do your selfies play off other well-known images? How do they play off each other?
What is the apparent context of this image? How does that affect how it might be read?

How does your reading of your selfies compare or relate to some of our readings for this week?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK FOUR:  On Newspeak and Bullshit

2/5:

View:

Calling Bullshit

Calling Bullshit: How Fake News Spreads

Read:

“Before Fake News Came False Prophesy”

How to Spot Fake News

“The Agency” New York Times Magazine

Blog:  Try this Exercise

Spark:

1.

2.

 

2/8:   Selection from 1984:  Privacy/Surveillance

View:

Hasan Elahi, FBI Here I Am/TED

Read:

Chapter 1, George Orwell’s 1984

Chapter 2, Orwell’s 1984

“The End of Privacy” New York Times

“Your Cellphone is Spying on You”

Blog:  Respond to reading and/or viewing.  What was interesting to you and why?  Questions, observations, comments…be ready to share!

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK FIVE:  Digital Activism and Trolls

2/12:  Activism

View:

Intro to Digital Activism, Mary Joyce

Read:

Why Social Media Matters to Protestors, The Atlantic

Unconditionally Accepted

Blog:

#1reasonWhy

#YesAllWomen

#NotAllMen

#GamerGate

#NotYourAsianSidekick

#Ferguson

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown

#BlackLivesMatter

#ConcernedStudent1950

These words with #’s in front of them aren’t just collating social media content around specific interests; these conversations and their participants come to think of these more like an event or social movement. In cases like “#1reasonwhy”, the hashtag becomes a platform for voices that otherwise might not be heard. For #Ferguson, the hashtag becomes a platform for citizen journalism.

In either case, something new seems to be happening around how users leverage different social media platforms to do something that matters.   (From DGST101)

Write about an example of digital activism.  Think critically about its impact and possible future.

Spark:

1.

2.

 

2/15:  Trolls

Read:

Why People Troll

Why Women Get Attacked by Trolls: A New Study

Why I am Masquerading as a White Bearded Hipster Guy on Twitter

Blog:

Experiences, thoughts about reading, ideas, questions, and concerns about trolling? Blog about them…

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK SIX

Spring Break

 

WEEK SEVEN: Digital Editions/Archives/Tools

2/28 (WED):  Digital Editions/digital archives—using digital editions for field based research

Explore:

Blake Archive
British Booktrade Index
British Fiction 1800-1829: A Database of Production, Circulation and Reception
British Library Full Text Treasures
British Library Turning the Pages Project
British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis
Bronte, Charlotte Juvenilia, Houghton Library, Harvard
Collex, NINES
Crime Broadsides Project, Harvard Law School Library
David Rumsey Map Collection
Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustrations
Cather Archive
Dickinsen Electronic Archive, MITH
Digital Collections, Library of Congress
Digital Collections, UCLA Library
Digital Research Tools List – a comprehensive list of digital tools
Digital Tools Used in the Arts & Humanities
Early English Books Online (subscription)
Emblem Project Utrecht
English Novel 1830-1836: A Bibliography of British Fiction
Global Poetry System
Google Books
Internet Archive: Wayback Machine
Internet Library of Early Journals
Jing, Screencasting Tool
LibraryThing
MITH’s Vintage Computers Archive
Whitman Archive
Nineteenth Century Serials Edition
NYPL Digital Gallery
Penny Illustrated Paper, British Library
The Poetess Archive
Reading Experience Database
Science in the 19th-Century Periodical
The Spectator Text Project, Montclair State University
Transcriptions: Literary History and the Culture of Information, UC Santa Barbara
TweetCloud
Turning the Pages, British Library
University of Virginia Digital Collection
University of Virginia Open-Access Databases
Virtual Exhibitions, British Library

Blog:

Choose a digital edition or archive that interests you and consider at least three of the following questions to write about:

  • What contribution does it make to scholarship?
  • What is being done with this project that could not be done in print-based scholarship?
  • Is the purpose of the site/project/archive clearly articulated?
  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • How can you use it for your research?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it searchable? Static?
  • Who are the authors/contributors? What are their roles?
  • Is it a collaborative project?
  • Who is the primary audience?
  • What are the strengths? What are the weaknesses?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

3/1:  Digital Tools for Literary Study

Do:

Explore the tools on our website and choose one to demo and write about.

Blog:  What tool did you choose and why?  How did it work; what applications does it have?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK EIGHT:  THE CIRCLE

3/5:

Read:

Dave Eggers, The Circle

Blog:

Pick a scene, character description, or moment to discuss in depth.  Be prepared to share!

Spark:

1.

2.

 

3/8:  The Circle

Read:

Eggers, The Circle

Blog:

Midterm Reflection:

Write an essay/blog post that both looks back at what you have learned in prior weeks and ahead on the syllabus to what may spark your interest. This should be a thought piece that engages what you have already learned and what you’re curious about: posit a question (or questions),  and think about an issue that you would like to respond to in a final project. How might you explore these questions and perhaps even answer them? What more do you need to know? How can you obtain the resources and assistance that you need to proceed?  What kind of research might you do? What other projects may be similar and inspire you to think more?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK NINE: Social Media

3/12:

Read:

Finish, The Circle

Blog:

Many of the technologies the author invents in The Circle seem futuristic, but they are not so far from realities that exist now: myriad social media sites are obviously omnipresent, but the government is also developing facial recognition to screen for terrorists and Google Glass seems not so unlike the camera necklace that allows for Mae’s transparency. After finishing the novel, did you find this overlap between fact and fiction unsettling? Does it affect how you personally engage with technology or think about that engagement?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

3/15:  Social Media

View:

Lisa Nakamura on Social Media

Read:

Handouts from Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet and Cupcakes, Pinterest and Ladyporn

Blog:

Respond to any of the ideas, concerns, or insights in the reading and viewing for this week.

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK TEN: The UnEssay and Pecha Kucha

3/19: In Class Project Development

View:

Pecha Kucha on Pecha Kucha

Do:

Review UnEssay assignment (on the main menu) in preparation for discussion

Read:

Multimodal handouts

 

3/22:  NO CLASS (I’m at a conference)

Please work on your project proposals and suggestions for crowdsourced materials

 

WEEK ELEVEN:

3/26:  Workshop

In class discussion of abstracts for UnEssays and discussion of crowdsourced materials

Blog:  Abstract for your UnEssay

 

3/29:  Easter Break

 

WEEK TWELVE:

4/5:  Electronic Literature

Read/View:

Alan Bigelow, “How to Rob a Bank”

Stephanie Strickland, “Born Digital”

Jessica Pressman, “Navigating Electronic Literature”

Blog:  Questions, insights, observations, finds of your own to share?

Spark:

1.

2.

 

WEEK THIRTEEN:

4/9:  Twitterature (Online Class)

Read:

Astro Poets

Astro Poets Essay

So Sad Today

Twitterature (sample)

Do:   Follow a Twitter writer/poet this week.

Blog: Who are you following? What observations can you make about their work and how Twitter’s parameters influence their art?

 

4/12:  Digital media presentation/Branding Yourself

 

WEEK FOURTEEN:

4/16:  Crowdsourced Materials

 

4/19:  Crowdsourced Materials

 

WEEK FIFTEEN

4/23:  Presentations—Pecha Kucha

4/26:  Presentations–Pecha Kucha

 

WEEK SIXTEEN

4/30:  Final Class/Presentations–Pecha Kucha

 

Final projects due day of Final Exam (TBD)

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s