Week 1: The Medium is the Message

01/18   Introduction to Digital Literacy

01/20   Attention & Distraction

  • No physical class meeting. Use this time to read Nicholas Carr’s “Is Google Making us Stupid” and Andrew Sullivan’s “I Used to Be a Human Being.” You should also sign into the course website; change your display name and password; and start preparing your first blog post. Click here for the instructions for logging in to the website.
  • Blog Post #1 Due by Sunday at 11pm
    • Informed by Carr or Sullivan, write a short blog post (300-400 words) in which you critically reflect on your relationship to a digital technology or social media platform. Be specific, not broad and general, and quote from Carr or Sullivan on at least one occasion. Also, embed at least one image in your post to practice with the format.


Week 2: Old Media/New Media/Digital Media

01/23   Old vs. New Media

  • Adam Hammond, “The Digital Medium and Its Message,” LITDA
  • Jessica Pressman, “Old Media / New Media,” JHGDM

01/25   Stages of Literacy Technology

01/27   Introduction to the Multimedia Writing Studio (Studio)


Week 3: Program or Be Programmed

01/30   Characteristics of Digital Media

  • David Golumbia, “Characteristics of Digital Media,” JHGDM
  • Anne Mangen and Jean-Luc Velay, “Cognitive Implications of New Media,” JHGDM

02/01   Analog vs. Digital

02/03   Introduction to Programming (Studio)

  • Bring laptops (if you have one) and meet in the Multimedia Writing Studio, LAB 334
  • In Studio: Hour of Code (complete a one-hour tutorial on http://hourofcode.com)
  • Discuss Literacy & Technology Narrative (due Monday): See the full assignment description.


Week 4: Internet & Networks 

02/06   How the Internet Works

  • Literacy & Technology Narrative Due: Submit and upload to the appropriate Dropbox folder; or email me a link. For details on the assignment, see the full assignment description.
  • Mark Nunes, “Networking,” JHGDM
  • Watch Videos 1-4 from How the Internet Works (Code.org). Take notes as you watch because most of this material will be on the midterm.
  • In Class: Watch clips from Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016)

02/08   Coding as the New Literacy?

02/10   Learning How to Code (Studio)

  • Jon Duckett, “Text” in HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites, 40-60.
  • Bring laptops and meet in the Multimedia Writing Studio, LAB 334
  • In Studio: Introduction to Dash (General Assembly): Sign up and complete Project 1 and Project 2. When finished, take a screen shot of the final screens (with both final design and markup included). Embed at least one of the screenshots in a blog reflection (300 words) where you reflect on your experience and make a critical argument about why (or why not) coding is a digital literacy that students should learn.  Ground your reasons and explanation with a specific example from your experience.
  • Blog Post #2 Due by Sunday at 11pm. See bullet point above for the instructions.


Week 5: Windows & Interfaces

02/13   The Power of Algorithms

02/15   From Page to Screen

02/17   Introduction to Graphic Design (Studio)

  • Jennifer Cole Phillips, “Basic Design”(29-32) in Y.: Design It Yourself, 2006.
  • Bring laptops and meet in the Multimedia Writing Studio, LAB 334
  • In Studio: Introduction to Graphic Design Software Canva. Using Canva software, design a poster for a real or imaginary event that includes at least one image, general information about the event, and the event’s title. Download the poster, save it, and then upload it to the website. I will create a page that features all the posters.
  • Upload posters to the course website by Sunday at 11pm (Click on Media>Add New to upload)


Week 6: Literature & Big Data

02/20   Quantitative Approaches to the Literary

  • Adam Hammond, “Quantitative Approaches to the Literary,” LITDA

02/22   Is Literature Data?

02/24   Playing with Word Clouds (Studio)


Week 7: Digital Archives and Digital Editions

02/27   Mardi Gras holiday

03/01   Archives & Digital Editions

  • Adam Hammond, “Digital Editions and the Complexity of Remediation,” LITDA
  • Katherine Harris, “Archive,” JHGDM
  • Matthew Kirschenbaum, “Preservation,” JHGDM

03/03   The History of Digital Archives

  • Guest Lecture by Elizabeth La Beaud, Digital Lab Manager, McCain Library & Archives
  • Meet in LAB 205
  • Blog Post #3 Due: Distant Reading Assignment. See the full “How Not to Read a Novel” assignment for details.


Week 8: Database & Narrative

03/06   The Digital Republic of Letters

03/08   Digital Keywords

  • Read over your notes and make a list of topics, keywords, and definitions covered thus far.
  • In Class: Review for the midterm exam

03/10   Midterm Exam


Week 9: Spring Break

03/13   Spring Break

03/15   Spring Break

03/17   Spring Break


Week 10: The Medium of Literature

03/20   M.T. Anderson, Feed (2012)

03/22   M.T. Anderson, Feed (2012)

03/24   M.T. Anderson, Feed (2012)


Week 11: Virtuality & Augmented Reality

03/27   Identities & Virtual Bodies

  • Steven Edward Doran, “Identity,” JHGDM
  • Bjarke Liboriussen, “Avatars,” JHGDM
  • Marco Caracciolo, “Virtual Bodies,” JHGDM

03/29   Augmented Reality

03/31   The Evolution of the Book

  • Andrew Piper, “Out of Touch” (reprinted from Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times)
  • Blog Post #4 Due: Critical Response to Feed (2012): Choose a passage from Feed and write a short critical reflection (300-400 words) in which you analyze the passage in relation to one of the keywords we have discussed this semester.


Week 12: Multimodal Narratives

04/03   The Art of Digital Storytelling

04/05   What is Electronic Literature?

04/07   Electronic Literature Organization (Studio)

  • Leonardo Flores, “Digital Poetry,” JHGDM
  • Before class, watch Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Dakota (third work listed from the top). Take running notes on your thoughts while reading and watching the work.
  • In Studio: Explore examples of Electronic Literature from the ELO: Robert Kendall, Faith, Alison Clifford, The Sweet Old Etcetera, etc.
  • Other examples from Electronic Literature to explore: Marko Niem, “Stud Poetry”; Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie, 10:01; Reiner Strasser and Alan Sondheim’s “Tao”; Alan Bigelow, “Saving the Alphabet”; Alan Bigelow, “This Is Not A Poem.”  You can also look for random examples on the “I Love E-Poetry” website’s index.

Week 13: Digital Aesthetics

04/10   Literature in Digital Environments

04/12   Art & Self-Reflexivity

  • Roberto Simanowski, “Digital and Net Art,” JHGDM
  • Winfried Noth, “Self-Reflexivity in Electronic Art,” JHGDM
  • In Class: Discuss Text Rain by Camille Utterback and a sample page from Mark Z. Danielewski, The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May
  • Unessay Proposal & Bibliography Due

04/14   Good Friday holiday


Week 14: Games & Interactive Narrative

04/17   Games and Role Playing

  • Adam Hammond, pp. 187-197 from “Literature in the Digital Master Medium,” LITDA

04/19   Plot Types and Interactivity

  • Marie-Laure Ryan, “Plot Types and Interactivity,” JHGDM
  • Marie-Laure Ryan, “Interactive Narrative,” JHGDM

04/21   Games as Art/Literature/Education (Studio)


Week 15: The Future of the Human

04/24   Beyond the Human?

  • Watch Naomi Baron, “Always On” (video)
  • Watch Sherry Turkle, “Connected, but alone?” TED Talk
  • Blog Post #5 Due: Close reading and critical analysis of any work of electronic art (300-400 words), including any of the examples covered or another work you explored individually.

04/26   The Future of Social Media

  • Watch the episode “Nosedive,” Black Mirror
  • Raine Koskimaa, “Cyborg and Posthuman,” JHGDM

04/28   The Quantified Self

  • Finish watching the episode “Nosedive,” Black Mirror


Week 16: Final Reflections

05/01   Reflections and Studio Time

05/03   Reflections and Studio Time

05/05   Project Presentations



Final Unessays due on Tuesday, May 9 by 5pm