Literature and the Information, Media, and Communication Revolutions
How have language, reading, and literature responded to revolutions in media, communication, and information technology? This course introduces the history and theory of the major changes in human discourse that have led up to our current information age. Readings in literary and artistic works exemplify the creative artist's response to these changes.
Go to course site. Adjustments have been made in the course for the COVID-19 virus and COLA TA strike situations. Lectures will be live on Monday, March 30 at 1:00-1:50 pm (Pacific time) at the following Zoom meeting address: https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/377544976 (A password is also required to join the live Zoom meetings beginning April 3. The password is provided on the Gauchospace course site.) Recordings of lectures are later uploaded for viewing on Gauchospace.
Note to students wishing to crash the course: you can join the course's Gauchospace site before and for a limited time after the beginning of the quarter to access announcements, course news, and course resources. (See also the Honors Section of this course, which currently has room for enrollment.)
Highlights of the course:
- Course units:
- * Literature Across Media Ages
- * The Communication/Information Age -- Information's impact on what we mean by "meaning"
- * The Postindustrial & Neoliberal Age -- Information's impact on work and power
- * Processing Literature -- Information's impact on the way we study literature
- Key readings:
- * Novelists: Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49), William Gibson (Neuromancer)
- * Media theorists: Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, N. Katherine, Lev Manovitch, etc.
- * Historians and theorists of communication/computing: Claude Shannon, Warren Weaver, Vannevar Bush, etc.
- * Business historians & theorists on the information age: Joseph Schumpeter, Shoshana Zuboff, Peter Senge, Manuel Castells, etc.
- * Critics, cyberlibertarians, and hackers of the information age: John Perry Barlow, Critical Art Ensemble, Donna Haraway, Jodi, etc.
- * Theorists and practitioners of the new "digital humanities": Franco Moretti, The Stanford Literary lab, Ted Underwood, etc.
- * Theorists of digital "deformance" and "glitch": Lisa Samuels, Jerome McGann, Mark Sample, Rosa Menkman, etc.
- Key assignments: (some minor assignments below will be optional during the COVID-19 virus and COLA TA labor action situations)
- * Short essay in which you imagine what computing will be like in the year 2050.
- * Short essay on Thomas Pynchon's novel.
- * Spreadsheet & Short Essay: spreadsheet comparing work life of a student and your imagined life in your desired future career, accompanied by short essay on "Being Human in the Age of Information Knowledge Work"
- * Text-analysis & exercise on a work of literature accompanied by short commentary.
- Exams: (mostly "factual" in nature)
- * Mid-term exam
- * Final exam