New technologies promise to revolutionize literature, in both its creation and its reception: from email to hypermedia and from electronic text to virtual reality, computers are challenging the 500-year-old tradition of the book, of authorship, and our relationship to text, language, and communication. In this seminar we will explore the implications of these changes. The course will serve both as an introduction to some of the major theorists of literature and communication in the twentieth century, and as an investigation of how emergent technologies might problematize, reconfigure, or enact their theories.
Knowledge of computers is helpful but by no means necessary. Requirements: regular and active participation in discussions both in and out of class, short written assignments, and a final project.