LIT 400: Reading Cyberliterature

Class Schedule (best printed in landscape orientation)





Week 1 (1/17-19)

What is Cyber-literature and culture?

Introduction to Course

Introductions by Murray and Manovich (NMR 3-25); Borges, “The Book of Sand” (at Bb), and the hypertext version of the latter story created by Maximus Clarke,

Week 2 (1/24-26)

Interactivity and the “Tradition of Experiment”

Borges, “Funes His Memory,” (Bb); Bush, “As We May Think” (NMR 35, focus on sections 6, 7 and 8), Nelson, from Literary Machines (NMR 441),


Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths” (NMR 29), Queneau, “Yours for the Telling” (NMR 147), Interactive Fictions “Adventure” and “Curses” and accompanying documentation (NMR CD); Skim Moulthrop, “forking paths” documentation (NMR CD)

Week 3 (1/31-2/2)

Media Translation Assignment

No Class

Meet in Anderson 17:  Workshop for first assignment.

Week 4 (2/7-9)

Cyberpunk and Techno-determinism

Gibson, “Johnny Mnemonic,” “Dogfight,” “The Winter Market,” (BC), Martin Irvine's "Cyborgs-R-Us" and "Cyborgology 101"; Weiner, "Men, Machines, and the World About" (NMR 65), Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis" (NMR 73)

Gibson, “Fragments of a Hologram Rose,” “New Rose Hotel,” “Burning Chrome” (BC); Williams, “The Technology and the Society) (NMR 289), Phrack files (NMR CD); My Tiny Life: A Rape in Cyberspace

Week 5 (2/14-16)

Simulations, Aliens, and Embodiment

Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum,” “The Belonging Kind,” “Hinterlands” (BC); Jean Baudrillard, from "Simulacra and Simulation"; N. Katherine Hayles, "Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers"

Walter Mosley, selection(s) from Futureland (TBA, available at Bb), Tal, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: African-American Critical Theory and Cyberculture

Week 6 (2/21-23)

Intelligent Machines and Artificial Life

Bladerunner: The Director’s Cut

(view film on your own before class; it will be on reserve at IMC desk)

Eliza/Doctor (NMR CD), Weizenbaum, From Computer Power and Human Reason (NMR 367),Turing “Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence” (NMR 49), Suchman, “Plans and Situated Actions” (NMR 599)

Week 7 (2/28-3/2)

Cyborg Identity and Politics

Jackson, Patchwork Girl, Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” (NMR 515)

Patchwork Girl, Jackson, “Stitch Bitch: the patchwork girl”, Jackson's homepage: "Ineradicable Stain"

Hershman, Documentation of Lorna and Deep Contact (NMR CD),

Week 8 (3/7-9)

Post-Cyberpunk Science Fiction

Patchwork Girl, concluded.

Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom begun

Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Umberto Eco, "Travels in Hyperreality" (1975) (at Bb)


LIT 400: Reading Cyberliterature

Class Schedule, Page 2

Week 9 (3/21-23)

Digital Poetry and Other Web-based Literature

Doctorow, Down and Out, Bagdikian, “The Endless Chain” (NMR 471), Stallman, “The GNU Manifesto” (NMR 543), Sullivan, “The Blogging Revolution” (Wired 10.5, May 02), Doctorow's blog,

Queneau, “A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems” (NMR 147), Kendall, “The Clue” (NMR CD), “Firefly” by Deena Larsen, “Faith” by Robert Kendall (Cauldron & Net, 2002), Lisa Russ Spaar, “Lines Online: Poetry Journals on the Web” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 7, 2003---at Bb)

Week 10 (3/28-30)

More Digital Poetry and E-lit

Burroughs , “The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin” (NMR 89), McCloud, “Time Frames” (NMR 711), “3 Proposals for Bottle Imps” by William Poundstone (Iowa Web Review),  “The Dream Life of Letters” by Brian Kim Stefans (New Media Poetry at Iowa, 2002), “Orient” by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (Iowa Web Review 2002),

Loss Pequeño Glazier, “The Poetics of Dynamic Texts”

Students’ choices TBA

Some resources: Electronic Literature Organization Directory, The Iowa Review Web, Literature Unbound, Deena Larsen's Addicts Attic, Poems that Go, New River; plus, see the external links and webliography of online sources I provide at BB.

Week 11 (4/4-6)


Students’ choices TBA

No class (I’ll be at a conference)


Week 12 (4/11-13)

Games, Simulations, Virtual Worlds

Architecture Machine Group, Demos of Aspen Movie Map and Put-That-There (NMR CD), Games for the Apple II and Atari (NMR CD); Turkle, “Video Games and Computer Holding Power” (NMR 499); Two Selections by Brenda Laurel (NMR 563)

Perhaps another game, simulation or virtual world yet to be determined (I will solicit class members’ suggestions); Doctorow, “Anda’s Game” (Bb), Ivanhoe Game

Week 13


Game/Sim and Student Projects

Viola, “Will There Be Condominiums in Dataspace” (NMR 463), Morningstar and Farmer, “The Lessons of Lucasfilm’s Habitat” (NMR 663)

Meet in Anderson 17

Week 14 (4/25-27)

Student Projects

Meet in Anderson 17

Meet in Anderson 17 (draft/version of final project will be due about here)

Week 15  (5/2)

Student Projects

Meet in Anderson 17

Final Exam: May 9, 1-3 p.m.