Syllabus

March 31: Introduction to the course

April 2: Always On
David Ulin, “The Lost Art of Reading” (LA Times; August 2009)
Johann Hari, “How to Survive the Age of Distraction,” The Independent (June 24, 2011)
Linda Stone, Continuous Partial Attention
–!> Review executive summaries: How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers; NEA, Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America (2004); To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence (2007); Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy (2008)

April 7: Generation distraction
Matt Richtel, “Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction” (NY Times; November 2010)
Cathy Davidson, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Introduction)
Frontline interview with Clifford Nass
–!> Take the two multitasking tests on the NY Times site (Test How Fast You Juggle Tasks and Test Your Focus) and be prepared to discuss the results in class.

April 9: The dumbest generation?
Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” (July/August 2008)
Clay Shirky, “Why Abundance is Good
Jamais Cascio, “Get Smarter,” The Atlantic (July/August 2009)
Video: short interview about The Shallows with PBS
–!> Post your own response on the discussion page of our course blog

April 14: What ‘the Internet does’
Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (excerpts)
Sven Birkerts, “Reading in a Digital Age,” The American Scholar (Spring 2010)
–!> Video: Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

April 16: Class canceled

April 21-23: Reading in the early 20C
Henry James, In the Cage

April 28: Reading today
Erik Loyer, Chroma; Ian Hatcher, Signal to Noise; Donna Leishman, RedRidinghood

April 30: Ephemerality
Talan Memmott, Lexia to Perplexia [read description, along with this note about its readability]; Shelley Jackson, Snow, a story in progress, weather permitting; Eugenio Tisselli, Degenerative (2005); Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, Shakespeare Machine [description]

May 5: Modernity, attention, and distraction
Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage

May 7: Always On, II
Jonathan Crary, 24/7 (pp. 1-28, 79-89)

May 12-14: New modes of attention
N. Katherine Hayles, “Hyper and Deep Attention” (Profession; 2007)
Cathy Davidson, Now You See It (pp. 23-58)
Young-Hae Chang, “Rain on the Sea” [txt file]
William Poundstone, Project for Tachistoscope
–!> Video:  Changing Education Paradigms

May 19-21: How we read now
I Read Where I Am (Amsterdam: Graphic Design Museum, 2011)
–!> Compose your own 200-500 word reflection on present or future forms of reading and post it to our course website by the end of the week.

May 26: The futures of the book
Craig Mod, “Books in the Age of the iPad
Robert Moor, “Bones of the Book,” n+1 (February 2012)
–!> Browse: David Theo Goldberg and Stefka Hristova, Blue Velvet: Re-dressing New Orleans in Katrina’s wake; The Institute for the Future of the Book; Gamer Theory
–!> Audio & Video: IDEO, The Future of the Book; “The Future of Children’s Books” (NPR; February 2012); Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes

May 28: Page to screen
Sharon Daniel and Erik Loyer, Public Secrets [note: this discussion will connect to the UCSB Reads initiative on women and prisons]
–!> Also see Sharon Daniel and Erik Loyer, Blood Sugar

June 2: New reading devices
Cathy Davidson, Now You See It (pp. 61-71)
–!> iPad and iPhone apps (watch videos): Aya Karpinska, Shadows Never Sleep; Jason Edward Lewis and Bruno Nadeau, Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media; Erik Loyer, Strange Rain; The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore; Marc Saporta, Composition No. 1; Alice for the iPad; Stephen Fry iOS book app

June 4: New reading interfaces
Video documentation: Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Screen; Sandy Baldwin, New Word Order: Basra; Caitlin Fisher, Andromeda; Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen; Daniel C. Howe and Aya Karpinksa, open.ended
–!> Browse: Cityspeak and TXTual Healing; Moving Canvas; The Distributed Legible City; Cave Writing and the CAVE Simulator

 

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