Syllabus

September 4: Introduction

September 6: Always On
David Ulin, “The Lost Art of Reading” (LA Times; August 2009); Johann Hari, “How to Survive the Age of Distraction,” The Independent (June 24, 2011); Linda Stone, Continuous Partial Attention
–!> Review executive summaries: How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers; NEA, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America (2004); To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence (2007); Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy (2008)

September 11: Imagination, perception, attention
Emma Donoghue, Room

September 13: Generation distraction
Matt Richtel, “Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction” (NY Times; November 2010); Cathy Davidson, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Introduction); Frontline interview with Clifford Nass
–!> Take the two multitasking tests on the NY Times site (Test How Fast You Juggle Tasks and Test Your Focus)

September 18: The dumbest generation?
Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (July/August 2008); Clay Shirky, “Why Abundance is Good“; Jamais Cascio, “Get Smarter,” The Atlantic (July/August 2009)
–!> Video: short interview about The Shallows with PBS
–!> Post your own response on the discussion page of our course blog

September 20: What ‘the Internet does’
Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (excerpts); Sven Birkerts, “Reading in a Digital Age,” The American Scholar (Spring 2010)
–!> Video: Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

September 25-27: Reading in the early 20C
Henry James, In the Cage

October 2: Reading today
Erik Loyer, Chroma

October 4: Reading today, II
Ian Hatcher, Signal to Noise

October 9-11: Close reading
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves
–!> Links: A list of useful threads (HoL forum) | XKCD, “Click and Drag” | A House of Leaves. First Movement (DRAF; Fall 2012)

October 16: Fall recess
October 18: House of Leaves, continued
October 23: Mark Z. Danielewski, Only Revolutions (Chapter 1 of Sam and Hailey) [to be distributed]

October 25: Modernity, attention, and distraction
Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

October 30: Jonathan Crary, Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture (pp. 11-51)

November 1: Class canceled (instructor conference)

November 6-8: New modes of attention
N. Katherine Hayles, “Hyper and Deep Attention” (Profession; 2007); Hayles, excerpts from How We Think (55-68); Cathy Davidson, Now You See It (pp. 23-58)
Young-Hae Chang, “Rain on the Sea” [txt file]; William Poundstone, Project for Tachistoscope
–!> Video:  Changing Education Paradigms

November 13: The futures of the book
Robert Moor, “Bones of the Book,” n+1 (February 2012); Craig Mod, “Books in the Age of the iPad
–!> Browse: The Institute for the Future of the Book | Gamer Theory | Goldberg, Hristova, and Loyer, Blue Velvet
–!> Audio & Video:  “Take Me to a Future Where Books Act Like This” (Gizmodo; September 2010) | “The Future of Children’s Books” (NPR; February 2012) | Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes

November 15: How we read now
I Read Where I Am (Amsterdam: Graphic Design Museum, 2011)
–> Compose your own 200-500 word reflection on present or future forms of reading and post it to our course website.

November 20:  Page to screen
Johanna Drucker, “The Virtual Codex from Page Space to E-space,” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies; Joseph J. Esposito, “The Processed Book,” First Monday 8:3 (2003)

November 22: Thanksgiving

November 27: Machine-assisted reading
Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees (pp. 1-64, 91-92)

November 29: Moretti, continued
–!> Begin experimenting with text analysis tools such as Many Eyes, TAPoR, and PieSpy
–!> TAPoR Portal Recipes (e.g. identify themes within a text)

December 4: Algorithmic reading
Geoffrey Rockwell, “What is Text Analysis?” (also see “Electronic Texts and Text Analysis“)
Stephen Ramsay, “Toward an Algorithmic Criticism” and excerpt from Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism (Chapter 1)
–!> Explore Culturomics and the Google Books Ngram viewer

December 6: New reading devices
Cathy Davidson, Now You See It (pp. 61-71)
–!> iPad and iPhone apps (watch videos): Aya Karpinska, Shadows Never Sleep | Jason Edward Lewis and Bruno Nadeau, Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media | Erik Loyer, Strange Rain | The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore | Jason Shiga, Meanwhile | Marc Saporta, Composition No. 1 | Alice for the iPad | Once Upon an App | Stephen Fry iOS book app
–!> Audio: Jason Lewis interview

December 11: New reading interfaces
–!> Video documentation: Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Screen; Sandy Baldwin, New Word Order: Basra | Caitlin Fisher, Andromeda | Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen | Daniel C. Howe and Aya Karpinksa, open.ended
–!> Browse: Cityspeak | Moving Canvas | The Distributed Legible City | Cave Writing and the CAVE Simulator

December 13: Reading without words
Shaun Tan, The Arrival
Donna Leishman, RedRidinghood

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