Sunday, September 23, 2007

Course Outline

Writing Intensive
Instructor: S. OGDEN SPRING 2008

Online Media: Literature in a Second Life

This course will research and analyse the reciprocally causal relation between literature and the internet. Our theoretical framework will be Marshall McLuhan’s analyses of modern communication media and Paul Virilio’s contextualization of information media as a subset of applied technology systems. We will study three Gutenberg literary works: one which influenced the creation of an online medium; one which will influence another yet to come; and one which blurs formal differences between Gutenberg and post-Gutenberg literary works. The course requirements include reading and analysis of a list of post-Gutenberg literatures, including webcomics, webserials and fanfiction. There will also be on-going practical engagement with Second Life which, placed in concert with the McLuhan, Coupland and Gibson texts, allows for the question of Canadian identity in online media to be given critical attention.

NOTE: This course assumes that its students have functional familiarity with PC computer use, terminology, and application, and are able to troubleshoot and repair, or have troubleshot and repaired, their own software and firmware, internet, and O/S problems. Each student will be required to have, or have consistent access to, a PC capable of running Second Life. Apple Corporation products will be condescendingly tolerated.
McLuhan, Marshall, Understanding Media
Virilio, Paul, The Information Bomb
Stephenson, Neal, Snow Crash
Coupland, Douglas, JPod
Gibson, William, All Tomorrow's Parties
[online] Sundry on-line Literatures.

Rymaszewski, M. Second Life: The Official Guide
McCloud, Scott, Reinventing Comics

15% Three group critical theory projects
20% Two group on-line literature projects
30% Mid-term paper (2500 words with revisions)
35% Final project (3500 words with draught outline)

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