Schedule for English 25 (Spring 2021)

Schedule for English 25 (S 2021)

Literature and the Information, Media, & Communication Revolutions


Manicule There are two required print books that must be purchased (see info). All other readings are from online sources. (See A Note About Access to Reading Materials For This Course and also Guide to Downloading and Organizing Online Readings)
Manicule Watch English 25 lectures live at this Zoom address. (For passcode used after March 29, see course GauchoSpace site.) Lectures will also be recorded. If you do not want to be included in the recording, simply keep your camera and microphone off. Professor Liu’s lectures and slides will be made available on GauchoSpace a few hours after each lecture.

1.

Overture — Across the Ages of Media / Communication / Information


Class 1 (M., March 29) — Introduction

Overview of the course topic, readings, assignments, and enrollment/section policies.

Class 2 (W., March 31) — The Idea of Media

Class 3 (F. April 2) — The Age of Orality


Class 4 (M., April 5) — (Continued)

  • [Continued from previous class.]

Class 5 (W., April 7) — The Rise of Literacy

Class 6 (F., April 9) — Reading in the Information Age?

Class 7 (M., April 12) — “Strange Books”

2.

The Rise of Digital
Media / Communication / Information

Class 8 (W., April 14) — The Communications Revolution & the Digital Principle

Class 9 (F., April 16) — Computer Revolution (1): History of the Computer

Class 10 (M., April 19) — Computer Revolution (2): Rise of the Network

Class 11 (W., April 21) — Computer Revolution (3): Emergence of Digital “New Media”

  • Digital “New Media”
    • Lev Manovitch, The Language of New Media (2001): PDF File
      • pp. 18-48 (this starts at p. 30 of the PDF file: the section titled “What is New Media?”)
      • 218-28 (this starts at p. 134 of the PDF file)
  • “Web 2.0”

fiction unit begin

Class 12 (F., April 23) — Fiction and Modern Media / Communication / Information

Class 13 (M., April 26) — (Continued)

  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1965) — finish rest of the novel. (Print book) Print book

Class 14 (W., April 28) — (Continued)

  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1965) — finish rest of the novel. (Print book) Print book

Class 15 (F., April 30) — (Conclusion of lectures on Pynchon)

  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1965) — finish rest of the novel. (Print book) Print book

fiction unit end


(M., May 3) — Midterm Exam

No lecture today so students can take the online midterm exam.

3.

The Postindustrial & Neoliberal Age
Information’s Impact on Work and Power

Class 16 (W., May 5) — Postindustrial “Knowledge Work”

Class 17 (F., May 7) — Neoliberal “Networked Society”


Class 18 (M., May 10) — Against All the Above

Class 19 (W., May 12) — (Continued)

  • Donna J. Haraway, Excerpts from “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1985), chapter 8 in her book Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991) PDF File  — The PDF contains the whole book. Read only following excerpts from the “A Cyborg Manifesto” chapter in the book:
    • pp. 149-155
    • pp. 161-165
    • pp. 170-173
    • p. 181

fiction unit begin

Class 20 (F., May 14) — Fiction About Postindustrial / Neoliberal Work & Power

  • William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
    (Print book) Print book (Please purchase from an online vendor or through the UCEN Bookstore’s online ordering and delivery service. See info on specific editions and ordering options.)
    • For the best understanding of Professor Liu’s lectures, read half the novel by this class if you can.


Class 21 (M., May 17) — (Continued)

  • William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984) (Print book)  Print book
    • For the best understanding of Professor Liu’s lectures, finish the novel by this class if you can.

Class 22 (W., May 19) — (Continued)

  • William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984) (Print book)  Print book
    • Finish the novel by this class if you have not already done so.

Class 23 (F., May 21) — (Conclusion of lectures on Neuromancer)

  • William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984) (Print book)  Print book
    • Finish the novel by this class if you have not already done so.

fiction unit end

4.

Processing Literature
Information’s Impact on Methods of Research and Analysis


Class 24 (M., May 24) — What is Text in the Digital Age?

Class 25 (W., May 26) — Text Analysis

Class 26 (F., May 28) — Topic Modeling


[No Class (M., May 31) — Campus Holiday – Memorial Day

Class 27 (W., June 2) — Social Network Analysis

Class 28 (F., June 4) — Conclusion: What Is Literature For in the Information Age? /
What Is Information For in Literature?

  • The thought-prompts for this concluding lecture are the ideas of “deformance” and “glitch” in the literary/artistic use of information technology.


(W., June 9) — Final Exam

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A Note About Access to Reading Materials For This Course

There are two required print books that must be purchased (see info).

All other readings are online. Paywalled articles can be accessed over the UCSB network (or from off-campus by using the campus Pulse VPN service or the campus Library Proxy Server. You can also try to find open-access versions of paywalled materials using the Unpaywall extension for the Chrome or Firefox browsers. (Advice: It is a good idea to download materials as early as possible in case, for example, PDFs that are currently available open-access, on the open net, or through a UCSB Library digital database subscription later become inaccessible.)

Because so many readings are online (an increasingly prevalent trend in college courses), students will need to develop a method or workflow for themselves that optimizes their ability to study the materials. While everyone has their own personal preferences and technical constraints, the following guide includes suggested options for handling online materials:

Guide to Downloading and Managing Online Readings