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Literature and the Media – Beginnings



This reading schedule (as well as the playful section titles) is meant to be suggestive, not prescriptive, chronological, or inclusive.

Take a plunge when you sign up for your reports/seminar facilitation, and please clarify the focus of your presentation with me in advance. I will then also direct you (after you have done your own search) to additional specific sources, if necessary.

All essay materials listed below are available on ereserve, online, or easily retrievable from the WSU's Stewart Library databases.

Week 1–3

General Introduction — Literature and the Modern Media Ecology
The Pencil of Nature — Writings by Hand and Writing with the Sun

  • Historical snapshots of photography I, II
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables (chap. I - XIII)
  • Jennifer Green-Lewis, "Fiction's Photographers and Their Works: Villains Outside the Frame," Framing the Victorians, 65-94
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, Seven Gables (chap. XIV-XXI)
  • "Daguerreotypy and Other Technologies," Norton, 293-313
  • Alan Trachtenberg, "Seeing and Believing: Hawthorne's Reflections on the Daguerreotype in The House of the Seven Gables," Norton 418-438
  • Seven Gables _________________________________ (presentation)
*** Please note: no class Labor Day, 7 September (Week 3) ***
Week 4–5

Gender and Information Processing I — Telegraphy, Class, and Female Power

  • Henry James, In the Cage
  • John Carlos Rowe, "Gender, Sexuality and Work in In the Cage," in Norton, 483-502
  • Hayles, N. Katherine, "The Dream of Information. Escape and Constraint . . . ," My Mother was a Computer. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 62-71.
  • In the Cage I _________________________________
  • In the Cage II ________________________________
Week 5–7

Sound and Silence — Early Interactions between Literature Print and Phonography (or, Gender again)

  • John M. Picker, "Introduction: The Tramp of a Fly's Footstep," Victorian Soundscapes. OUP, 2003: 3-11
  • History of Sound Recording I, II
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, — "The Voice of Science"
    "The Story of the Japanned Box"
  • Jean-Marie Guyau, "Memory and Phonograph"
  • Doyle/Writers and sound recording _________________________________
  • George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion (1913), or alternative text TBA
  • Pygmalion ____________________________________
Week 7–8

Machined Writing (I) — From Manuscript to Typescript

Week 9–10

Vampires and Information Culture — Dracula

  • Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
  • Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, "Undead Networks: Information Processing and Media Boundary Conflicts in Dracula," Literature and Science, Ed. Donald Bruce and Anthony Purdy. Amsterdam/Atlanta: Rodopi, 1994. 107-129
  • Jennifer Wicke, "Vampiric Typewriting: Dracula and its Media," ELH 59 (1992): 467-93
  • Dracula (I) _________________________________
  • Dracula (II) ________________________________
Week 11–12

American Literary Naturalism and the Modern Media Ecology

Frank Norris's McTeague (II) - Agency and Angst: Mangled Hands and Machined Writing

  • Frank Norris, McTeague (ctd.)
  • Michael Fried, "Stephen Crane's Upturned Faces," Realism, Writing, Disfiguration—On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane. Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1987: pp. 93-121.
  • McTeague _________________________________
Week 13

Machined Writing (II) — Identity, Gender, Power)

  • J. M. Barrie, The Twelve-Pound Look
  • Dorothy West, "The Typewriter"
  • D. H. Lawrence, selected essays from Phoenix II
Week 14–15

The Poetics and Politics of (European) Media Modernism

  • Italian Futurism, Futurist Manifestos, F-Technopoetics & Beyond
  • Guillaume Apollinaire, "The New Spirit and the Poets," Selected Writings of Guillaume Apollinaire. Ed. and trans. Roger Shattuck. New York: New Directions, 1971: 227-237
  • Guillaume Apollinaire, "Lettre-Ocean"
  • Italian Futurism _________________________________
  • Modernist Media Poetics _________________________
*** Essay hard copy due date: Mo, 30 Nov 2009 ***
Please consult the Editing Checklist in the Toolbox for essential pointers regarding your essay.
Week 15

Artificial Summary & Conclusion

Concluding Note


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Michael Wutz, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor
Editor, Weber - The Contemporary West
Department of English, 1404 University Circle
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84404-1404 USA