ENGL3410: Literature and Media (49605)

Menke, Richard

TR 9:35 AM

Park Hall 139

In English departments, we usually study literary texts in terms of their aesthetic form and semantic content. But what happens when we consider literary works not only as texts with characteristics such as form, genre, and theme but also as concrete, historical practices that take place within a media ecology? How are media and literature part of technological and cultural systems? What effects does the appearance of new media have on literature? What pressures do new media technologies exert on existing literary forms? What new potentials do they open up?

The literary texts we examine in this class will include case studies from the histories of literature and media in several eras. Although we will begin by discussing the relationships between oral and literate cultures, we will spend most of the course exploring the literary implications of print and post-print media technologies from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.

Our readings will include a number of open-access and electronic works as well as the following bound, printed texts:

  • Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy, Routledge (9780415538381)
  • Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, MIT (9780262631594)
  • William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, Oxford-World's Classics (9780199601967)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, 3rd ed., Broadview (9781554811038)
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula, Broadview (9781551111360)
  • Henry James, Turn of the Screw & In the Cage, Modern Library (9780375757402)
  • Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Anchor (9780307477477)
  • Patricia Lockwood, No One Is Talking About This, Riverhead (9780593189580)
  • Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars: Poems, Graywolf (9781555975845)