English 415

Media and Culture (801)
Fall 2013
Jones
M 7:00–9:30PM
201 Cudahy Library

Novelist William Gibson, who coined the term “cyberspace,” has for a few years now been saying that “cyberspace is everting”—turning itself inside out and colonizing the physical world. The eversion is a major shift in the collective imagination of the digital network, from a place apart to a part of the world, from a transcendent virtual reality to a ubiquitous and (literally) mundane mixed reality. With the eversion, it’s now taken for granted that digital data is everywhere, all around us in the physical world. The rise of the new digital humanities around 2004-2008 was one significant response to this cultural shift, which was predicated on the rise of mobile platforms, mass digitization, casual gaming, augmented reality, and the geospatial turn (made possible by the turning off of selective availability to satellite data in 2000). In this seminar we’ll examine representations and manifestations of the eversion in works of diverse media, across multiple platforms. We’ll take an eclectic theoretical approach, drawing on media archaeology, cultural studies, literary criticism, and–in particular–digital humanities methods and debates.

ASSIGNMENTS
* presentations on readings and participation in discussions 20%
* weekly playgroups* that meet to play games and report back to class as a whole 15%
* oral midterm on readings and plan for final essay 15%
* final essay 50%

BOOKS
Borsuk, Amaranth and Brad Bouse. Between Page and Screen. Siglio, 2012.
Gibson, William. Spook Country. Putnam’s 2007.
Kirschenbaum, Matthew. Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. MIT, 2008.
Miéville, China. City & The City. Random House, 2011.
Moretti, Franco. Maps, Graphs, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary Theory. Verso, 2005.
Sloan, Robin. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. FS&G, 2012.
Stephenson, Neal. Reamde. Harper Collins, 2011.
An Aura of Familiarity. Institute for the Future, 2013.

SCHEDULE (draft)
AUGUST
26 introductions

SEPTEMBER
9
HUMANITIES COMPUTING AND DH
from Schreibman, et al., ed. A Companion to Digital Humanities (e.g., Foreword, Introduction, Hockey, McCarty)
from Gold, ed. Debates in the Digital Humanities (e.g., Kirschenbaum, “What Is?;” Fitzpatrick, “Done Digitally;” McCarty, “A Telescope”)
Svensson, “Humanities Computing as Digital Humanities” (DHQ 3.3)
Nyhan, ed. intro. to special issue of DHQ
DH Manifesto 2.0

16
CYBERSPACE
[Brandiann, Alex]
Gibson, “Burning Chrome”
Vinge, “True Names”
Barlow, “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”
Hayles, How We Became Posthuman (Esp. chptrs. 1, 2)
selections from An Aura of Familiarity (esp. Rucker, Sterling, Doctorow)

23
EVERSION
[Caitlin, Hannah]
Gibson, Spook Country
selections from An Aura of Familiarity (esp. Ellis, Naam, Ashby)
Hayles, “Cybernetics,” in Critical Terms for Media Studies, ed. Mitchell and Hansen, 144-56.
Jurgenson, “Digital Dualism vs. Augmented Reality”, “The IRL Fetish”

30
DIMENSIONS
[Lyle, Michaela, Brandiann]
Miéville, City & the City
Lovecraft, “From Beyond”, “The Call of Cthulhu”
Meeks, “TVTropes Pt. 1″
Farman, from Mobile Interface Theory (esp. intro., chapter 1)
The New Aesthetic Tumblr
Bridle, “Waving at the Machines”

OCTOBER
14
GAMES
[Evan, Naomi, Ashley]
Bogost, selected essays (e.g., “Perpetual Adolescence,””Proteus,””Exploitationware,””Shit Crayons”)
Adventure
Wark, Gamer Theory, “Agony: On The Cave”
Kaplan and Zimmerman, PLAY
Jones and Thiruvathukal, from Codename Revolution (esp. chptrs. 1, 6, 7)
possibilities: Gone Home, Fez, Portal, Skyrim, Journey, various Wii, Kinect, or 3DS games, etc.

21
PEOPLE
[Katie, Hannah]
Gibson, “Agrippa;” and selected materials at
The Agrippa Files
Kirschenbaum, Mechanisms (with special attention: Intro., chapters 1, 5)
Gitelman, from Always Already New (esp. Introduction)
Mueller, “Collaboratively Curating”
Transcribe Bentham

28
DATA
[Naomi, Joshua, Caitlin]
Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees
Jockers, from Macroanalysis (esp. “Revolution” and “Evidence,” on reserve)
Johnson, “The Long Zoom”
Crane, “What do You Do With a Million Books?”
Data Mining with Criminal Intent
Meeks and Weingart, ed. JDH special issue
Ramsay, from Reading Machines (esp. “Preconditions” and chapt. 1, on reserve)
Underwood, selected posts
Data Dealer

NOVEMBER
4
PLACES
[Adam, Katie, Ashley]
Stephenson, Reamde
Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees,
Farman, from Mobile Interface Theory (esp. chapter 2)
Spatial Humanities (Scholars’ Lab)
Space Liberation Front
Villa Diodati MOO (login with ‘connect Guest’)

11
THINGS
[Michaela, Evan, Adam]
Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore
Ramsay and Rockwell in Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities
Nowviskie, “Resistance in the Materials”
Brown, “Thing Theory”
Sayers, et al., U. Victoria Maker Lab
Sterling, Shaping Things
Ratto and Ree, “Materializing Information”
Sayers, “Creative Humanities? Built Humanities?” (11/11/13 blog post)

18
PUBLICATIONS
[Alex, Ashley, Brett]
Borsuk, Between Page and Screen
Borsuk, “The Upright Script”
Carmody, “A Bookfuturist Manifesto”
Piper, from Book Was There Website
Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence (esp. Intro.)
weird historical document

25
DH AS A FIELD (OF ENERGY)
[Brett, Joshua, Lyle]
Risam and Koh, #DHPoco
Cecire, “When Digital Humanities Was in Vogue”
from Gold, ed. Debates in the Digital Humanities (esp. Mcpherson, Losh, Bianco, Nowviskie, “Dig?”)

DECEMBER
2
PLAYGROUP PRESENTATIONS

__

* playgroups:

1. Katie, Evan, Hannah
2. Alex, Caitlin, Brett
3. Lyle, Brandiann
4. Naomi, Michaela, Adam
5. Josh, Ashley

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