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Michael Hancher: Jr.-Sr. Seminar, Electronic Text

Engl 3960
Junior-Senior Seminar: Electronic Text
4:00-5:15 TTh

Widespread electronic networking has renewed some perplexing questions about the status and function of text:

Does the text speak for itself? Does it depend on or construct the authority of an author, or community of authors? How does gender inflect text? What difference does the reader make? Whose text is it? Who can read it? Who has the right to copy it? How can the text change, or stay the same? Can texts be adequately described or reproduced? Can texts err? Are texts displaced or changed by images? How do they relate to other texts? How long can a text last?
This seminar will investigate many of these and related questions as reframed by the phenomenon of electronic text.

Readings will be excerpted from books-in-common (parts of which will be read by all students), supplementary books (reported on by some students), and various electronic-text archives. Some relevant titles:

  • Plato, Phaedrus.
  • Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.
  • George P. Landow, Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology.
  • Michael Auping, Jenny Holzer.
  • Michael Joyce, Afternoon, A Story.
  • Stuart Moulthrop, Victory Garden.
  • English Poetry Full-Text Database.
  • Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet.
  • Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway.
  • Bill Gates et al., The Road Ahead.

Return to courses, spring 1996.
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Michael Hancher

Department of English, University of Minnesota

URL: http://umn.edu/home/mh/prosjsse.html

Comments to: mh@umn.edu

Created 12 January 1996

Last revised 17 September 1996