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Since my fantastic meeting with George a couple of days ago, I’ve been thinking more about my plan to fold a group blog into one of my fall classes. George helpfully alerted me to his post on Conversation as Game, which attempts to create a beginning typology of rhetorical moves that take place in public discursive settings, as a preliminary stab at thinking through the thorny question of grading such blog participation.

The class I’m thinking about is, appropriately enough, entitled “The Literary Machine,” and it focuses on the relationship between computers and writing, both as represented in “traditional” print literature (i.e., Richard Powers’ Galatea 2.2 and John Barth’s Coming Soon!!!) and as enacted in newer electronic-literature technologies. So what I want the class blog to do is both serve as a venue for standard sorts of extra-class discussion — a site where students can direct one another to texts of interest on the web, and where those late-night thoughts about in-class discussion can get an airing — and also function as an experiment in computer-based writing/publishing itself. With any luck, my class (and I) will be able to puzzle through some of the questions I raised here about the new kinds of writing that the blog might help facilitate, and the new directions that the thing we currently think of as “literature” might take in response.

The question: have you had any experiences — positive, negative, mixed — with this kind of blog-experiment that might help focus or guide my fall foray?



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