Lit & Technology (online)


this course we will explore the relationship between literary production and
technological innovation during the past two centuries. Throughout the
semester, we will address two central questions:


  1. how have specific technologies
    been treated as themes in prose fiction, poems, dramas, film, and other
    literary media?
  2. how have technologies such as
    print, cinema, hypertext, animation, and multimedia facilitated the
    development of both traditional and experimental literary forms and modes
    of distribution?

issues we will discuss include the impact of the Industrial Revolution on
American society in the nineteenth century; the development of science fiction;
the connection between technological change and the rise of literary modernism
and postmodernism; technological utopias and dystopias; the debates on the
benefits and risks associated with robotics, cloning, and GMOs; and the current
role of computers, the Internet, and GPS technologies in politics and culture.


addition to giving you insight into the many ways literature and technology
intersect, this class is designed to build your skills in reading, writing, critical
thinking, interpersonal communication.


This is an fully online class
with no regularly scheduled class meeting times. All class activities will take
place within the Laulima online learning environment. You will be interacting
with your classmates throughout the week using Laulima’s Forums, responding to
questions from me and commenting on your classmates’ responses. You will
contribute a minimum of five (5) well thought-out postings to Forums each week
by the scheduled deadlines. We will use Laulima’s Discussion tool for these


You will also collaborate with your classmates
to build a Wikipedia-style glossary of terms and concepts derived from your
reading and research throughout the semester.


All quizzes and exams will be administered
through Laulima’s Tests & Quizzes system, and you will submit all writing
assignments to me and to your editing partners using Laulima’s Drop Box system.


Required Texts

Margaret Atwood, The
Year of the Flood
; Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills; Karl Čapek, RUR;Kazuo Ishiguro, Never
Let Me Go;
William Gibson, Spook
selections from the Electronic
Literature Collection



Fritz Lang, Metropolis;
Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, The Matrix



Your grade will be based on regular postings to
the class forum, contributions to the class wiki, a five-page analysis paper,
quizzes, a midterm exam, and a final exam.


For more information on the class and the online
format, email the instructor at