The Digital Age: Reading, Writing, and Research (Spring 2013)

Experimental course • ENGL 380

How is the rise of digital technologies changing some of the fundamental practices of the intellectual life: reading, writing, and researching? How does writing on a computer differ from writing on a typewriter, or (still more) writing by hand? Have we lost anything by doing our research primarily by running online searches, as opposed to plowing through card catalogues and browsing shelved items? Is the experience of reading on a Kindle or Nook significantly different from that of reading a paper codex? Moreover, how are these changes affecting the intellectual culture and communal practices of the Church?

We will explore these questions through using a range of digital tools — blogs, wikis, Twitter, Zotero, etc. — and through an extensive set of readings, including essays or books by Marahall McLuhan, Walter Ong, N. Katherine Hayles, Cathy Davidson, Nicholas Carr, James Gleick, Friedrich Kittler, and others.

Please consider joining me for a course that will help you grapple seriously with the technologies that are changing your life and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

(Friends: email me or tweet with suggested readings, etc.)