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ENGLISH 5BA: Reading and Writing in the Digital Age

In this course, we will ask how acts of reading, writing, and interpretation change across different mediums, softwares, platforms, and contexts. The digital turn has fractured the historical connection between literature and the printed page, and rooted our everyday writing on seemingly immaterial mediums. So, why do we still read physical books in a world where practically all text has been digitized, a world where we have Red Dead Redemption and Wikipedia? What is the book as a literary object doing today? How have digital-age writers?particularly writers of color?reimagined the book as a means for representing historical trauma through experiments in image and typography? How, more broadly, has the digitization of communication transformed or displaced literary forms and experiences? What even is 'literary writing' (or, for that matter, 'academic writing')? To explore these questions, we will consider various mediums of reading and writing?including letters (Emily Dickinson and Emi more »
In this course, we will ask how acts of reading, writing, and interpretation change across different mediums, softwares, platforms, and contexts. The digital turn has fractured the historical connection between literature and the printed page, and rooted our everyday writing on seemingly immaterial mediums. So, why do we still read physical books in a world where practically all text has been digitized, a world where we have Red Dead Redemption and Wikipedia? What is the book as a literary object doing today? How have digital-age writers?particularly writers of color?reimagined the book as a means for representing historical trauma through experiments in image and typography? How, more broadly, has the digitization of communication transformed or displaced literary forms and experiences? What even is 'literary writing' (or, for that matter, 'academic writing')? To explore these questions, we will consider various mediums of reading and writing?including letters (Emily Dickinson and Eminem), artists' books (Edward Ruscha and Rupi Kaur), sound (Amiri Baraka, Kendrick Lamar, Tracie Morris), video games (Emily is Away, Doki Doki Literature Club!), fan fiction, and more?drawing on readings in media studies and reader response theory as critical frameworks for our inquiries. To supplement these readings, we will experiment with writing in several forms and platforms, exploring how different media both constrain and enable unique forms of expression and interpretation. (Note: This Writing-Intensive Seminar in English (WISE) course fulfills WIM for English majors. Non-majors are welcome, space permitting. For enrollment permission contact vbeebe@stanford.edu.)
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Messarra, L. (PI)
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