Syllabus for Lit 400:

ictorian iterature on the nternet

graphics by Harlan Wallach ęcopyright 1994

Course Description

In this seminar students will be introduced to the study of Victorian literature through electronic media, such as e-texts, hypertext, and multimedia on the worldwide web. While we will have some printed materials to read, we will try to encounter as many of our texts as possible in electronic form. The course will begin with an introduction, both practical and philosophical, to the medium of hypertext, especially in the form of the worldwide web. Then we will combine print and computer technology in the study of a variety of Victorian texts: poetry, prose (fiction and non-fiction), visual arts, drama. There will be some assigned readings throughout the semester, but students will also have significant input into what the class studies through their own exploration of the worldwide web. While we will have regularly scheduled discussions, students will also be given the time and encouragement to explore the Internet and CD-ROM resources independently, with the instructor acting as coach, advisor, and co-explorer.

Required Texts

The following have been ordered for the course: In addition, there will be required readings from worldwide web sites and other e-texts (listed in class reading schedule). For example, students will be required to subscribe to the electronic conference or "listserv" called Victoria for the first four weeks of the course. This list will serve as a model for the discussion group developed by the class itself.

Course Requirements

  1. One review of postings from Victoria (two days' worth). 5%
  2. Contributions to the interactive written discourse of the class, that is, its bulletin board: a minimum per week of two messages (one question, one comment) and one response to another's message. These contributions must pertain to the theories or Victorian texts under discussion. Each week, one of these postings must contribute a piece of documentary material pertaining to the Victorian texts under discussion. 20%
  3. A midterm, which will test students' ability to discuss the critical/technological theory. 15%
  4. A group project, which will be the creation of a "web" of materials linked to a particular Victorian text (poetry or short prose) of the students' choosing (instructor approval required). 30%
  5. A revised essay (6-8 pages), reflecting on the student's own experiences with the class as an example of the social construction of knowledge. This paper should integrate all three aspects of the course: critical theory, hypertexts, Victorian texts and culture. 15%
  6. Class participation. 15% Depending on quality of participation, there may be substituted a final exam, which would test students' comprehension of the required Victorian texts, both print and electronic.

Go to the Lit 400: Class Projects Page.
Click here for class reading schedule.
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