ENG 5992: New Media and the Futures of Writing (Winter 2011)

Code on the Wall

Photo Credit: "Code on the wall" by Nat W

Writing is more than words on a page. The various futures of writing involve a number of emerging practices, and this class will approach these practices by defining writing very broadly. We will write with images. We will write with video. We will write (with) code. As we learn the basics of each of these new media technologies, we will build new theories for emerging writing technologies.

Students tinker with various technologies to remix texts, to learn about how new media tools enable and constrain different types of writing, and to explore how tools that seem to be outside the realm of English studies might be applied to our disciplinary practices. The main task of this class is to stretch the limits of English studies as students help invent the future of writing. As future scholars and teachers, students taking this course are in a position to rethink the possibilities of what English studies can be, and the tinkering we will do in this course will give these students multiple ways to think through those possibilities.

No technological expertise is required for this course. The goal is to play with technologies, not to master them. We will be using the classroom as a laboratory for exploring various writing tools.

Required Texts
These texts are available at Marwil Bookstore and online:

Supplementary Texts

  • Bogost, Ian. “The Rhetoric of Video Games" inThe Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Edited by Katie Salen.
  • Chun, Wendy. "Did Somebody Say New Media?" in New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader
  • Manovich, Lev. "New Media from Borges to HTML," in The New Media Reader
  • Mateas, M. 2005. Procedural Literacy: Educating the New Media Practitioner. On The Horizon. Special Issue. Future of Games, Simulations and Interactive Media in Learning Contexts, v13, n2 2005.
  • Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck (excerpt).
  • --- "Inventing the Medium," in The New Media Reader