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Unveiling the Literary Machine

Some of you may have noticed the new link that appeared a couple of days ago, unannounced, under “Other Obsolescence.” I’m happy to make the announcement, if belatedly, that my class blog is up and running, having overcome the technical obstacles that were preventing its debut. The blog is group-authored, and my students have been instructed that they should make at least one front-page post each week, and should comment on at least two of their peers’ posts as well.

The course they’re enrolled in, entitled, appropriately enough, The Literary Machine, has as its focus the different representations of and experimentations in the interface between computers and writers. We’re thus studying some cybernetic (print) fiction, a good bit of new media theory, and electronic texts of hypertextual and other varieties. But it was important to me that my students experience this negotiation of the computerized writing environment directly — that they not merely study the relationship through its representations, but also through its enactment.

All this by way of saying that they’ve been told to consider the ways that their writing changes when — among other kinds of shift — they are suddenly writing for an audience that is much larger than, well, me.

I hope that you’ll stop by, see what they have to say, and contribute to the discussion.


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