English 370: Multimedia Literature
Professor Joseph Conte

Fall 2006

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 Course Documents:  https://ublearns.buffalo.edu/ 

Aug 28:            Introduction to Multimedia Literature.

Aug 30:           Computers and Cognition.  Sherry Turkle, “How Computers Have Changed the Way We Think.”  UBLearns.

Sep 1:              Computers and Cognition.

Sep 4:              Labor Day:  No Class

Sep 6:              Cyberpunk globalization.  William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

Sep 8:              Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

Sep 11:            Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

Sep 13:            Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

Sep 15:            Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

Sep 18:            Paranoia and intellectual property.  Thomas Pynchon, “Is It O.K. to Be a Luddite?”  UBLearns.

Sep 20:            Simulation.  Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulacra.”  UBLearns.

Sep 22:            Rosh Hashanah:  No Class

Sep 25:            Information overload and postmodern simulacra.  Don DeLillo’s White Noise.

Sep 27:            DeLillo’s White Noise.

Sep 29:            DeLillo’s White Noise.

Oct 2:              Yom Kippur:  No Class

Oct 4:              DeLillo’s White Noise.

                        First essay due in class, 5-7 pages. 

Oct 6:              DeLillo’s White Noise.

Oct 9:              Michael Joyce, “Twelve Blue.” http://www.eastgate.com/TwelveBlue/Twelve_Blue.html

Oct 11:            Virtuality and men in small rooms.  Richard Powers’s Plowing the Dark.

Oct 13:            Powers’s Plowing the Dark.

Oct 16:            Powers’s Plowing the Dark.

Oct 18:            Powers’s Plowing the Dark.

Oct 20:            Powers’s Plowing the Dark.

Oct 23:            Jane Yellowlees Douglas, from The End of Books? Or Books Without End? Reading Hypertext Narratives.  UB Learns.

Oct 25:            Douglas, from The End of Books?

Oct 27:            Douglas, “What Hypertexts Do that Print Narratives Cannot.”  UBLearns.

Oct 30:            You Will Be Assimilated.  Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto.”  UBLearns.

Nov 1:             Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto.”

Nov 3:             Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto.”

Nov 6:             The avatar and the protagonist.  Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

                        Second essay due in class, 5-7 pages.

Nov 8:             Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

Nov 10:           Stephenson’s Snow Crash.       

Nov 13:           Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

Nov 15:           Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

Nov 17:           Metafiction and Postmodern Parody.  John Barth’s “Click.”  UBLearns.

Nov 20:           Barth’s “Click.”

Nov 22:           Thanksgiving Recess

Nov 24:           Thanksgiving Recess

Nov 27:           In the belly of the beast.  Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs

Nov 29:           Coupland’s Microserfs.

Dec 1:              Coupland’s Microserfs.

Dec 4:              Coupland’s Microserfs.

                        Final research paper or digital project due in class.

Dec 6:              Coupland’s Microserfs.

Dec 8:              Conclusions.


Required Texts:

 Coupland, Douglas. Microserfs.  New York:  Regan Books, 1996.

DeLillo, Don.  White Noise.  New York:  Penguin, 1986.

Gibson, William.  Pattern Recognition.  New York:  Putnam’s, 2003.

Stephenson, Neal.  Snow Crash.  New York:  Bantam, 1992.

Powers, Richard.  Plowing the Dark.  New York:  Picador, 2000.

All texts for the course can be found at Talking Leaves Bookstore, 3158 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214; (716) 837-8554. 

Course Requirements:

Attendance in class and participation in discussion for English 370 is mandatory; two 5-7 page papers and a final research paper or digital research project.

Papers:   Neatly printed copies must be presented in class on the day indicated on the syllabus.  These copies should adhere to the following format:  a cover page with a title for your essay, your name, the course number and title, the date; typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins; all pages numbered; stapled.  The paper should be proofread for grammatical and typographical errors. 

Late policy:  Late assignments will be accepted only by prior arrangement with me.  Failure to seek approval before the due date will result in a penalty of one grade increment per class meeting. 

Plagiarism:  All secondary materials, either from print or online sources, must be properly attributed.  Plagiarism of a paper—either in whole or in part, especially including sources downloaded from the Internet—will result in an immediate failure for the assignment, or the course, at the instructor’s discretion.

Attendance:  Noted on a daily basis.  Absence from more than five classes during the course of the semester will result in a final grade deduction, up to and including failure for the course, at the instructor’s discretion.

Grading:  50% for the two papers; 40% for the research paper or project; and 10% for attendance and participation in the class discussion list.

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Last revised on Monday, August 28, 2006.
Copyright 2006 Joseph M. Conte. All Rights Reserved.