Society, Culture, and Information : Plugged-In Contemporary Novel

Course Number: ENGL 148PG
Prerequisites: Writing 2 or 50 or 109AA-ZZ or English 10 or upper-division standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 148AA-ZZ
Quarter: Spring 2013
Instructor:
Day(s): MW
Time: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Location: GIRV 1112
Description:

May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 28 units provided letter designations are different.

"Plugged In: Networks in the Contemporary Novel" Particularly since the rise of social media as part of our daily interactions, we think more and more about who we are through the form of the network. Our networks define the reach of our ideas, our access to information and modes of self-expression, and, increasingly, our understandings of power and agency. With regard to the latter, ideas about new networks have shaped the stories we tell about both new manifestations of democracy (Occupy, the 2009 elections in Iran, the Arab Spring) and new forms of control, surveillance, and suppression. In this course we'll look at a variety of fictional, sociological, philosophical, and non-fictional approaches to networks. The fiction will include contemporary re-imaginings of the early internet and 1970s social movements, science fiction about the power of Anonymous-style collectives, and speculative accounts of the Arab Spring and the 2011 U.K. riots written just after they occurred. Fiction, film, and multimedia work by Karen Tei Yamashita, Daniel Suarez, G. Willow Wilson, Jennifer Egan, Steven Soderbergh, China Miéville, and Ted Chiang.  Requirements: reading long novels carefully, attendance, discussion board posts, and two papers, the second with a creative visualization option.
Particularly since the rise of social media as part of our daily interactions, we think more and more about who we are through the form of the network. Our networks define the reach of our ideas, our access to information and modes of self-expression, and, increasingly, our understandings of power and agency. With regard to the latter, ideas about new networks have shaped the stories we tell about both new manifestations of democracy (Occupy, the 2009 elections in Iran, the Arab Spring) and new forms of control, surveillance, and suppression. In this course we’ll look at a variety of fictional, sociological, philosophical, and non-fictional approaches to networks. The fiction will include contemporary re-imaginings of the early internet and 1970s social movements, science fiction about the power of Anonymous-style collectives, and speculative accounts of the Arab Spring and the 2011 U.K. riots written just after they occurred. Fiction, film, and multimedia work by Karen Tei Yamashita, Daniel Suarez, G. Willow Wilson, Jennifer Egan, Steven Soderbergh, China Miéville, and Ted Chiang. Requirements: reading long novels carefully, attendance, discussion board posts, and two papers, the second with a creative visualization option.