Course Description

Reading and Writing Across Media

University of Iowa, Fall 2012

Instructor: Craig Carey     Email:    Mailbox: 308 EPB

Office Hours: EPB 552, T Th, 12:15-1:00; Tues, 9:30-11:00; or by appt.


Course Description:

What happens to the book in the age of the iPad?  Does close reading surrender to hyper-reading; the turn of the page to the click of the button?  Have tablets and other digital media fundamentally changed what it means to read and write, or are they simply the most recent shift in a long history of media change?  With one eye cast on the digital and another on the media histories that precede it, this class moves from Plato to Edison, from early cave paintings to Google doodles, from the telegraph to the Internet, and from fictional monsters to the violence of Reality TV.  In addition to reading conventional literary genres such as novels, stories, and poems, we will also engage new genres such as the blog, digital poetics, interactive fiction, social media, and the YouTube video.  Throughout our travels, we will utilize literature as a unique tool for raising critical questions about the nature of attention, perception, reality, identity, and a host of other ideas historically shaped by technical mediation.  Students should come expecting to read and write across a range of media, thinking critically about themselves as public participants in the on-going serialization of their digital lives.  Requirements include periodic contributions to a class blog, participation in a class wiki, one formal paper, a multimedia group project, and a final exam.