Schedule | Fall 2012calendar


Homework to Complete Topics in Class

T 9/4



Obtain books Introduction to Literacy, Technology, and Society

Literacy, Technology, Society

Timeline and Phases of Society/Indentity

- Jay David Bolter: The Cathedral and the Book arrow
- Online Handout: Active Reading arrow
- David Byrne's Talk "How architecture helped music evolve" arrow

R 9/6


Read Ong, Chapters 1 and 2 and come in prepared to answer the Reading Questions.

Literacy and Orality

Film Clip: Turkish medieval song from Homer: Singer of Tales

Plato's Phaedrus, starting with the paragraph "But he who thinks that in the written word" about two screens from the bottom.

Reading Questions for Chapter 3
T 9/11

Read Ong Chapter 3, "Psychodynamics of Orality" and come in prepared to answer the Reading Questions for Chapter 3

Answer each of these questions in writing: a paragraph, a list, a chart, or map, etc. Make your answer "thing-like" (Ong 11), and be sure the "thing" specifically refers to particular pages and passages in Ong's Chapter 3.
The Oral Mind


Time and History ("A Rose for Emily")

R 9/13 Read "Ong Chapter 4 "Writing Restuctures Consciousness"

Write a 500-word Preparation Sheet: Ong Chapter 4 which answers the following question:

"According to Ong, how does the technology of writing "restructure consciousness" and how does this restructuring affect human society?"

This preparation sheet should
- be a formal piece of writing
- use MLA citation and documentation format
- include at least three quotations from Ong (at least two from Chapter 4)
- practice "critical focus"

Bring your Ong book and the Jay David Bolter handout: The Cathedral and the Book.
Writing Restructures Consciousness

Discussion of Chapter 4 ("sharing your sandwiches")

Plato's Phaedrus, starting with the paragraph "But he who thinks that in the written word" about two screens from the bottom.

Time and History ("A Rose for Emily")Handout: "Civilization" from Keywords (Raymond Williams
Video: Walking through Christ Church Cathedral

T 9/18
In the Moodle forum, "Writing Resturctures Consciousness," create an "intellectual postcard"
about a contemporary example or effect of this restructured consciousness. An intellectual postcard is an image combined with a short piece of writing (a sentence or paragraph) that explains a critical idea.

Use a quote from Ong somewhere in your writing. Feel free to repurpose a passage from your Preparation Sheet on Chapter 4.

You should try to insert a visible image into your posting. To insert an image in Moodle,
1. Find an image online.
2. Right-click (control+click on Mac) and select "View Image"
3. In the new browser window, copy the URL from the location bar at the top
4. In the Moodle forum, choose to post a reply
5. Click in the New Message Window
6. At the top of the message window, click the "Insert Image" icon (looks like a tree)
7. In the Insert/Edit Image Window, find the "Image URL" box and paste in the URL.
8. Click the "Insert" button
9. In the message window, you can type or copy text to include with the image.

(10. If you are unable to make this work, simply include a text link to the image in your message.)
The Machine that Made Us
Handout: Viewing Guide for the film,

Return of Preparation Sheets
Key to Response Symbols

Your preparation sheets will have evaluations in three categories: Content, Execution, Mechanics

Why Narrative?
Comments on narrative (Cobley)

R 9/20 "Cobley, Chapter 1 "In the Beginning, The End"

Reading Question:
Cobley argues that the power of narratives comes not simply from their content, but from the form of narrative.

This power, Cobley says, is fundamental to the human experience, which makes "narrative" much more than just another way of organizing a piece of writing.

Choose three specific quotations from Cobley's chapter which suggest the source, nature, and/OR consequence of this primal, narrative power.

The Machine that Made Us

Cobley Chapter 1
Reflective, Intentional, Constructivist forms of meaning;
Story, Plot, and Narrative;
Sequence, Space, Time

T 9/25
1. Read Cobley, Chapter 3 "The Rise and Rise of the Novel."
Reading Question:
Cobley argues that how you choose to tell a story creates a "problem of representation" and a potential crisis of social authority.

Identify three passages (with page numbers) from the chapter that suggest why the telling of a story has such an effect on the story's meaning and consequence.

2. Read Cobley, Chapter 4, "Realism"
Reading Question:
Conventionally, "realistic" representation is assumed to be objective, scientific, and apolitical. Throughout this chapter, however, Cobley argues otherwise.

Identify at least three of Cobley's reasons, ideas, examples, or arguments (with page numbers) that show how realist narrative is not pure or uncontroversial.

Cobley C3: The Problem of Representation (narrative mimesis)
Dramatic imitation vs. pure narrative,

Allegory Example: John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (section 1) (1678)

Aristotle vs. Plato
Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Romper Stomper (film)

Imitation and Articulation (showing and telling, scene and summary, imitative mimesis and the poet's voice)

Realism (Cobley C4)

  Homework to Complete Topics in Class
T 10/2
1. Read Cobley Chapter 5, "Beyond Realism"

Reading Question:
In Chapter 4, Cobley argues the 19th and 20th centuries saw a transformation in the scale of economic life (i.e., "capitalism") through three phases (98). These phases had profound effects on both the form and focus of narratives, and on contemporary models of individualism or identity. In Chapter 5, Cobley is describing the last phase of economic development: the global or "imperialist" stage.

Identity at least three passages or examples from Chapter 5 that demonstrate the characteristics of this third phase, and how those characteristics resulted in "modernist" narrative style and a "modernist" identity.

In a reply to the Moodle forum "Cobley C5" (by 8 a.m.), give the page number, a brief quotation, and two or three sentences of explanation for each of your choices.

Modernism (Cobley C5)

Handout: Bakhin's Dialogism (narrative space)

Words: Groovy, Evidence, Mom, Homeland

Comment: Narrative Levels

Detecting the Nation

R 10/4 1. Read all of The Picture of Dorian Gray, including the "Preface"

2. Reading Question:

The Picture of Dorian Gray
is a book about the relationship of art and life (or, to generalize, about representation and life).

Find two lines, passages, or scenes from Dorian Gray that illustrate or dramatize a specific idea .

Come in with page numbers and be read to discuss how the lines might exemplify a philosophy of aestheticism.

3. moodle In a message to the Moodle forum "Widle Dualisms," identify 3 quotations with page numbers which demonstrate the novel's ongoing preoccupation with any of the dualisms we discussed in class:
* morality/sensuality
* philosophy/ art
* Beauty/Genius
* Emotion/Intellect
* Pretend/Real
* Senses/Soul

Write a paragraph under these quotations that explain if you see either:

A. an emerging trend or consensus toward closure about the true relationship between any of these oppositions (for instance, how the competing values of morality and sensuality can or cannot be reconciled)
OR B. an apparent effort by Wilde to maintain an open dialogic between or among them which refuses any impulse to settle the question.

4. Thought question: Be ready to discuss if you think the contemporary criticisms of Picture of Dorian Gray are justified
- immorality of the book generally
- characters are callow "puppies" not worthy of our attention
- book is a "self-advertisement" for Wilde's self-created cult of "aesthetic" personality

Picture of Dorian Gray

Lecture: Aestheticism and Decadence


- the ending of Dorian Gray

- the Preface as a response to the criticisms of the books as immortal and a self-advertisement.

Resource: Excerpts from Walter Pater's The Renaissance

T 10/9
Read Dracula, pages 29-122

Thought questions:
1. During Jonathan Harker's journey to, and stay with, Dracula at his castle, Stoker suggests contrasts of East and West (Transylvania and Britain). Identify two specific phrases, passages, or descriptions where Stoker characterizes (or even just implies a characterization of) differences between East and West.

...What role do literacy and technology play in shaping those respective societies?

...In what ways do Dracula and Jonathan exemplify their respective societies?


Keynote Comment: Aestheticism and Decadence (review)

Keynote Talk
: Stoker, Dracula, and the End of the Century

The East/West Dialogic

: "Notes on the Gothic Mode"
R 10/11 Read Dracula, pages 123--419 (to the end)

Be prepared for some plot-oriented questions that might take the form of a pop-quiz.

Write and Print Out:
Our previous handout, "Notes on the Gothic Mode," suggests that a Gothic story might fulfill a a radical/critical function or a conservative function--or maybe, variously, both. Which do you think best describes Dracula?

As part of composing your answer, take a look at the online handout about cultural work and its distinction of reinforcing "current structures of feeling..." vs. rehearsing "new patterns" that "history has made necessary."

Write and print out a paragraph that includes two quotations from the book which supports your opinion.


Handout: Midterm format

- sexuality
- gender (femininity, masculinity)
- colonialism, imperialism, globalism
- race, nationhood
- progress or degeneracy?
- charismatic individualism (Dorian/Wilde?) vs. "power of combination" (277)

Handout: Resistance to Modernity

Discussion: conservative or radical/critical?

Preview: historical readings for next time.
T 10/16
1. moodle Download, print, read, and bring to class the first two pages of Hayden White's chapter "Interpretation in History" from his book Tropics of Discourse. See the Moodle site for a link to this PDF.

2. Download, print, read, and bring to class Moses Coit Tyler's A History of American Literature 1607 - 1765. (1879) available from out Moodle site.

Find passages and wording in Tyler's historical account that suggest how historiography is more art than science, more "narrative" (see Cobley pages 5-6)

2. Download, print, read, and bring to class Karl Marx "Preface" to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (starting in particular with the fourth paragraph)

Read this as both an example of what White calls "metahistory," and also an interpretation of the historical processes we've been discussing in class (think of Ong, the big timeline on the board, the succession of eras in Cobley, etc.).

3. Print out, and actively read Immanuel Kant's "What is Enlightenment?"

Respond to the Reading Questions supplied.

White: "Proper" Historians and Metahistorians

interpretation vs. explanation
metahistorian vs. so-called proper historian

Marx's "engine of history," base and superstructure.
Hayden White's Introduction, page 1
Aestheticism/Realism handout

Comment: Why history matters today (Fredric Jameson)

Kant: Enlightenment, Literacy, and Print

R 10/18 Read Cobley C6: Modernism and Cinema

Reading Guide and Response:
Copy the following questions into a Word file and, for each, record page numbers and brief verbal tags that point to two quotations from Cobley that help answer it. Print out the document and bring it to class. (Note that your answers may be handwritten or typed on the printout.)

1. What are the features of modernist narrative (how does it differ from realist or traditional narrative)

2. What are the features of a modernist self?

3. In what ways does cinematic narrative differ from print narrative? What are some of cinematic narrative's features and techniques?

4. What are some ways that modernist ideas and attitudes have been expressed in cinema? What are some examples?

Exam Prep: Please bring all books and materials to class.
Modernism and Cinema (Cobley C6)
The Odessa Steps scene from The Battleship Potempkin)
Man with a Movie Camera
Picasso by Juan Gris
Un Chien Andalou (The Andalusian Dog)
Modermism handout

Review for exam
Priorities in Exam
1. Transformative definitions and
2. Useful analyses (splitting concepts and pheonemona into their component ideas)
3. Who says what: sources, ultimate sources
4. Key ideas to explaining the problems and possibilities of "Literacy, Technology, and Society"
Debates, Dialogues, Differences: this vs. that, this before that, this lead to that;
6. The Story of ideas over time

Intellectual Postcards Group Exercise (see explanation):
1. Work (source)
2. Term or Phrase Defined
3. Relation to other terms and ideas
a Specific or concrete example

Before the end of the day, post your postcard description (with page numbers) to the forum "Midterm Exam Postcards."

Include a visible image that serves as the front of an "intellecutal postcard" (See directions for inserting images in Moodle and start with Step 5)

At the bottom of the message, be sure to identify everyone in your group.

T 10/23
Bring a reliable blue or black pen

No blue books needed

Since this is a closed-book exam, no books, printouts, or notes can be used.
R 10/25 Read Orwell's 1984, pgs. 1- 104.

Reading Questions:

What are some ways that the government controls society in 1984?

Indentify three quotations that help describe these methods and their effects.

On a piece of paper, write down the page numbers and some notes on each to use in discussion.

1984 (1-104)

Resistance to Modernity
modernism (component ideas)
history as narrative
discourse (data, image of meaning)
Marx's Engine of History (base and superstructure)
enlightenment (public use of reason - Kant)

Barnhill, the Island of Jura, Scotland

T 10/30

Read 1984 Book Two: pgs. 105- 224

Reading Questions:

What kind of rebel is Julia? How does she differ from Winston in her rebellion?

How does Orwell describe the paperweight? What does it represent to Winston? How does Orwell use it in the story?

In what ways does war serve the Party's interests?


base and superstructure
Resistance to Modernity
modernism (component ideas)
modernity handout



Homework Topics
R 11/1 Read 1984 pgs. 225 - end

Write: moodle Before 8:00 a.m. today, answer the following in the Moodle forum, "Orwell"

1. Describe a way that Orwell's social and political satire still applies today, even to situations (and with technologies) he never imagined. Be sure to cite a particular quotation from the novel.

2. How does 1984 illustrate any idea from the theories of Marx, Ong, Kant, White, those in Cobley, or any other work or handout we've read? Cite a specific quotation from 1984 and a passage from one of these other sources. How can we use any of these ideas to explain what's gone wrong with the society in Orwell's dystopia?

1984 (through the end)

Intellectual Postcards (Ideas Site)
The Real Room 101
base and superstructure
T 11/6
Cobley, Chapter 7 "Postmodernism"

Thought Questions:
Please come in with page numbers and notes to use in discussion of each of the following:

1. In what ways does the postmodern condition result from the saturation of everyday life by media (the "mediation" of life)?

2. In what ways does the postmodern condition result from changes in the material or economic nature of society (a.k.a., Marx's "base")?

3. How do postmodernist attitudes and ideas about the past (or history) differ from either the modernist rejection of the past, or the older veneration of tradition? What are these attitudes and ideas?

4. How do the "grand narratives" or "metanarratives" that Cobley (or Lyotard, actually) talks about differ from ordinary stories or narratives? In other words, what makes them "grand" or "meta"?

Begin reading Bridget Jones' Diary (to be completed by Thursday's class)

- modernity handout
- Barbara Cartland
- Marx's base and superstructure
- Handout: Postmodernism
- Layar - Impactful Augmented Reality
- A Visit to Times Square (vs. Walking through Christ Church Cathedral)
- Times Square in 1945 (VJ Day)
- Making a Cup of Tea (Augmented Reality: Domestic Robocop)

R 11/8
Bridget Jones' Diary (all)

Come to class with two passages (with page numbers) chosen to help answer the following questions.

1. If you found this book funny at all, let's think about its comic or satirical aspects. In general, what are we laughing at? Are there repeated objects of humor? What might Fielding be satirizing (criticizing) in this book?

2. What are some postmodern aspects or moments in this book? (See details from our handout and Cobley's chapter).

3. Bridget and her friends like to go out and indulge in what Bridget calls "drunken feminist ranting" (107). Is Bridget Jones' Diary feminist? anti-feminist? post-feminist? We've talked about how female gender identities in Dracula signal anxieties about the coming modernist age. What implications does postmodernism have for gender identities in (more or less) our own time?

Postmodernism and Bridget Jones' Diary

"Commentators such as Jean Baudrillard see the same period as dominated by the constant action of signs referring to themselves in an all-encomnpassing realm of 'simulation,' where signs take on value not because they refer to things in the world but because they refer only to each other" (Cobley 189)

"Producers of narratives [are] 'oppressed by the [postmodern] fear that whatever they might have to say has been said before, and condemned to self-consciousness by the climate of modern culture" (Lodge qtd. in Cobley 199).

Pride and Prejudice: Mr Darcy's First Appearance
Bridget Jones' Diary: Intro
Postmodern Fight Scene (Mark and Daniel's fight from Bridget Jones' Diary)
Bridget Jones and 1984 (Guardian newspaper)
T 11/13
Read Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, Chapters Two, Three, and Four available from the Moodle forum.

The Vocabulary of Comics (and all "sequential art")

McCloud's Pyramid
McCloud C4 Timeless
McCloud: simple, realistic
McCloud: simple, realistic identification
McCloud: Party and Party with Dialogue
McCloud: Wizard of Oz panel
Film Analysis: Visual Style
The Walking Dead Opening Credits
McCloud's Wizard of Oz (photo from film)
Handout: Visual Styles

R 11/15 1. Read Persepolis: all including introduction

2. moodle By 8:30 today: In the three Moodle forums for Persepolis and McCloud, I will ask you to compare an individual panel or sequence of panels from Persepolis (cite page number and row number) to an idea/technique/effect from McCloud (represented by a particular panel or set of panels idenitfied by page/row number).

Write about three such comparisons:
1. one considering some aspect of Visual Style (McCloud's Chapter 2)
2. one considering some aspect of Panel Composition, Sequence and Time (McCloud's Chapter 4)
3. one considering some aspect of Word/Image Combinations (McCloud's Chapter 6).

In each case, try to explain how the McCloudesque technique affects the meaning and feeling Satrapi achieves in the story at that moment. In other words, we want to see how McCloud's various techniques actually matter when it comes to a real narrative.

- Satrapi page 6.1 (split)
- Satrapi Suicide Bombers/Punk Rock Party (Scene to Scene)
- McCloud C4 Timeless
- Ong's "Sight isolates, sound incorporates"
- McCloud: Simplicity and Realism (Identification)
- Handout: Satrapi quotations about Persepolis

T 11/20
  No Class Meeting: Optional Conferences
R 11/22
T 11/27
  Film Literacy

Lecture: The Four Parameters of Film and introduction to Psycho.

Satrapi Suicide Bombers/Punk Rock Party (Scene to Scene)
McCloud C4 Timeless

Handout: The Tragic Wit of Psycho (Donald Spoto)

R 11/29 Read: The Tragic Wit of Psycho (Donald Spoto)

Choose a particular theme or effect described by Spoto to look for as you watch the film

Come in with several sheets of paper divided into four columns for taking notes on the four parameters of film: Cinematography, Editing, Mise en Scene, Sound.

Be prepared especially to take notes on the narrative of the film (as opposed to the story or plot), paying particular attention to how the film's technique serves a meaning and effect that Spoto talks about (and the meaning and effect of the film generally).

Essentially, we want to pay attention to how technique (narrative) is deployed not for its own sake, but for larger social, cultural, political, aesthetic purposes.

Psycho: Time and Indentification

the script of Psycho


Homework Topics
T 12/4
moodle Before 9:30 today, post a paragraph to the Moodle forum "Psycho "1 about two patterns or consistencies you see in Hitchcock's use of one or more of the four parameters of film.

moodle From Analysis, to Film, to Analysis
In a reply to the forum "Psycho 2," write a long paragraph that does the following:

1. Begin with... something Spoto observes about Psycho.
2. Find a...
a scene, shot, or sequence in the film that illustrates and supports that observation....

Then, think about how that same scene, shot, or sequence illuminates something else Spoto says in the handout.

. Finally, respond to someone else's Moodle posting, calling attention to some connection or parallel between that posting and your own.

In essence, we're using one piece or aspect of Psycho to enable us to see how two of the many ideas Spoto talks about (Gothicism, the American Dream, sex, wit, sadness, bathrooms, audience manipulation, tragedy, economy of style, etc.) work together in the film.

Psycho: Time and Indentification

Cinematography, Editing, Mise-en-Scene in Psycho
Norman in Frame
Lila in Frame
Lila and the Rakes
McCloud: Simplicity and Realism (Identification)

Scene Run Times:
- Opening scene in the hotel: 3:10
- Office scene when the money is introduced: 4:09
- Norman cleaning up the scene: 11:00 mins
R 12/6 moodle Visual Analysis
In the Moodle forum, "Psycho 3," post one or (if possible) two screen shots from the film and write a paragraph of commentary.

The commentary should perform a close reading of the effects achieved in those shots through cinematography and mise-en-scene (or perhaps the editing happening between those shots).

You can find many scenes and shots from Psycho available online, especially at YouTube.

To create the screen shots, try following the directions from my Techniques Site "Screen Shots." If you don't know or have access to Photoshop, you should be able to use any software that does basic image editing.

Save the image in the .jpg format, and make sure the width of the image is no more than 450 pixels.

To post an image to the Moodle forum, do the following:
1. In the "Your Reply" message window, click the tiny tree icon from the menu bar at the top of the text window.
2. In the Insert/edit Image Window, click "Find or upload an image"
3. In the File Picker Window, click the "Browse..." button to the right of "Attachment"
4. Browse to where you have saved the image (I would suggest .jpg format) and select it and click the "Open" button at the bottom of the window.
5. Back in the File Picker Window, click the "Upload this file" Button.
6. Back in the Insert/edit Image Window, click "Insert."
7. Back in the "Your Reply" area of the forum, add any more text or images to your reply and then click "Post to Forum."

Psycho: Techniques, Motifs, Themes

mirrors, doubling
money, lack of money
houses, lack of houses
cars, travel

T 12/11
Please print out and read Lev Manovich's "The Poetics of Augmented Space"

See the PDF file in the "Readings" section of Moodle.

Lev Manovich: Augmented Space

Janet Cardiff, "Walk with Us"
Janet Cardiff, Walks Page
Introducing Layar
Layer (Impactful Augumented Reality)
Video review of Grand Theft Auto IV
Psycho Rally Monkey (Anaheim Angels)
"52 Card Psycho"
Marx's base and superstructure
Handout: Postmodernism
Making a Cup of Tea (Augmented Reality: Domestic Robocop)

R 12/13   Final Exam Prep

The Final Exam will cover:
All works since the Midterm Exam, plus the ideas of
Aestheticism, |
Marx Base/Superstructure

Here is a link to a sample Moodle "quiz" so you can see how the interface of the final exam will function. If there are problems with this sample, please let me know well before the exam so I can be sure all technical issues are addressed.

Course Evaluations

"52 Card Psycho"

M 12/17
moodle By Monday at noon, post a sample Open Book question to the Moodle forum "Sample Questions" under the heading "Final."

As an example:

Walter Ong defines “writing” in the “full sense” as “a representation of an utterance, of words that someone says or is imagined to say” (83). Ong’s definition distinguishes writing from a mere “memory aid” or informational sign, like a scratch on a rock to mark a trail, or a “footprint or a deposit of feces or urine” by which an animal announces its territory (83).

Make the argument that this distinction between information and “utterance” is fundamental to understanding what writing is in this "full sense."  How does the "utterance" or voice of writing (as opposed to the mere information it conveys) play a significant role in the following three works: 

Sven Birkerts' The Gutenberg Elegies, and
Bridget Jones’s Diary.
Do differences among these three works suggest different uses or effects of voice or utterance in writing?

Be sure to use at least one specific, relevant quotation from each.

You may also mention or quote other relevant texts, handouts, or critical terms if they help your discussion.

What makes a good "Open-Book" question?

1. It calls for more than simple recall; instead, the question can be answered well or badly in a substantial paragraph

2. It focuses on a key idea or term from a semester which is fundamental to understanding what that reading says. This term or idea can be understood on a number of levels.

3. It uses an action word like "explain," "analyze," "compare" to indicate what intellectual process is expected.

4. It explicitly calls for drawing connections among different works or ideas (synthetic thinking).

Scheduled final time:Tuesday, December 18 at 10 a.m.

Online FINAL EXAM via Moodle
(open book, open note, 2-hour time limit)

moodle Complete the two-hour final exam via Moodle sometime between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18..

Remember to answer only three of the five questions.

If you have technical issues during office hours, call the ITSS Help Desk at 726-8847.

As a precaution, be sure to write each answer in text-editing software and save it in a file on your computer.

After you have completed each answer, copy the text into that question's text box in Moodle.

If you have problems with Moodle during the exam time, please copy the text of your answers into an email and send the email to me no more than two hours after the time you started the exam.

If you are using Firefox and have trouble typing into a text box, use the handle grip in the lower right of the text box to enlarge it slightly.