This is an ONLINE COURSE. The course syllabus, directions, and materials will be posted to an online course website. Students will be expected to access the documents at this course site and participate regularly in the online forum as well as interactive live discussions at the meeting times listed. Technology requirements may be found at: http://online.sas.upenn.edu
Is there a fundamental difference between literature on the page and literature on the screen? This online course will help you to answer that question by introducing you to the emergent literary genre of electronic literature. Strictly speaking, e-literature must be created on a computer (born-digital), and readable only on a computer. This is because e-literature tends to employ hyperlinks, interactive virtual environments, and/or multimedia. In its innovative understanding of what a “text” can be, e-literature offers a unique set of problems for readers. For example, some e-literature can only be viewed on certain platforms, viruses can affect the work, and it is often necessary to examine code in order to fully understand a work. This course seeks to demystify the genre of e-literature by introducing you to a range of e-literatures, including video poems, interactive fiction, and kinetic poetry. To help us understand these texts, we will also read works by media theorists such as N. Katherine Hayles and Lev Manovich. No prior knowledge of electronic literature is required and all course materials will be made available online.