Course Description

Interpretation of Literature (Honors), Section 48, University of Iowa, Spring 2013

Instructor: Craig Carey     Email: craig-carey@uiowa.edu     Mailbox: 308 EPB

Course Information: 08G:001:048, 12:30-1:45, EPB 213

Office Hours: EPB 552, Tues. and Thurs., 11-12:30; or by appt.

Few things are more pervasive than technology.  From the most advanced iPhone to the most elementary pencil, tools and technologies have become the infrastructural support for modern life.  They simulate new worlds, produce new fears and anxieties, stretch and expand the imagination, and inform the way we think about life, identity, history, community, individuality, desire, fantasy, and a host of other issues.  This course explores the history of technology through the study of literature.  Beginning with pre-historic cave paintings and ending with electronic literature, we will read novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction that directly and indirectly reflect the impact of technology at different historical moments.  What can writing, literature, and the book – technologies in their own right – teach us about what it means to be human in the midst of constant technological change?  Does literature merely reflect historical change or does it serve as a window for critique, reform, and utopian thinking?  Students should come expecting to read and write across a range of different media, thinking critically about themselves and their own relationships with technology.  Course requirements include weekly contributions to a class blog, participation in a class wiki, two formal papers, a multimedia group project, and a final exam.

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