English 204.402: Cybertheory

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September -- October -- November -- December



There is no exam for this class, but two papers or projects are due. The first, of roughly five to seven pages, is due on Thursday, 10 October; the second, of roughly twelve pages, is due on Tuesday, 3 December. Some notes on the projects:

Each student is also responsible for one brief presentation on the day's readings, and one response to a presentation; the classes will be divided up on Thursday, 12 September.

In a seminar that depends on discussion, class participation is of paramount importance, and will factor heavily in your final grade. This includes not only your more formal presentations and responses, but also regular contribution to the discussion, both in class and on the listserv.

Attendance and promptness will be enforced not only by the class participation requirement, but by regular short quizzes, which we might spring on you at any time during the semester. They will be unannounced, will begin exactly at 3:00, and cannot be made up if missed.

Schedule of Class Meetings

Section One: Getting Started

Thursday, 5 September

Introduction: Conducting the class, grading and attendance policies, &c.

Tuesday, 10 September

Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction, pp. 1-90 (Introduction, chapters 1 and 2).

Thursday, 12 September

Eagleton, pp. 91-217 (chapters 3, 4, and 5, Conclusion).

Tuesday, 17 September

From Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato: W. K. Wimsatt & Monroe C. Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy," pp. 1015-21, and "The Affective Fallacy," pp. 1022-31.

Presenter: Chris Stadler.

Thursday, 19 September

From Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato: E. D. Hirsch, "Objective Interpretation," pp. 1177-94; George Poulet, "Phenomenology of Reading," pp. 1213-22.

Section Two: Signs, Symbols, Structuralism

Tuesday, 24 September

From Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since 1965: Claude Lévi-Straiss, from The Raw and the Cooked; Ferdinand de Saussure, from Course in General Linguistics, pp. 646-57.

Thursday, 26 September

From Adams, Critical Theory Since 1965: Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play," pp. 83-93; from Of Grammatology, pp. 94-119.

Presenter: Luke Szyrmer.

Section Three: Image, Text, Homepage

Tuesday, 1 October

Barthes, from Image, Music, Text: "The Photographic Message," "Rhetoric of the Image," and "The Third Meaning."

Thursday, 3 October

Barthes, Camera Lucida.

Presenter: Alex Orlovsky; Respondent: Anthony Pryor.

Tuesday, 8 October

Berger, Ways of Seeing, chapters 1 and 3; Walter Benjamin, " The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction."

Presenter: Amy Lipman; Respondent: Alex Edelman.

Thursday, 10 October

From de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life: "General Introduction," "Walking in the City."

Presenter: Steven Morgan Friedman; Respondent: David Shapiro.

First Paper or Project Due.

Section Four: Cyborgs/Reading/the Body

Tuesday, 15 October

No class: Fall break.

Thursday, 17 October

Donna Haraway, "The Cyborg Manifesto."

Presenter: Kathy Bunt; Respondent: Steven Morgan Friedman.

Tuesday, 22 October

Luce Irigaray, "The Sex That is Not One"; Sigmund Freud, "Female Sexuality."

Thursday, 24 October

Baudrillard, "The Ecstasy of Communication"; Arthur and Marylouise Kroker, "Theses on the Disappearing Body in the Hyper-Modern Condition."

Presenter: Case Torstenson; Respondent: Alex Orlovsky.

Section Five: Authorship & Readership

Tuesday, 29 October

Foucault, "The Author Function"; Barthes, "The Death of the Author."

Presenter: Dan Orr; Respondent: Luke Szyrmer.

Thursday, 31 October

Wolfgang Iser, "The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach"; Stanley Fish, "Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics."

Tuesday, 5 November

Tony Bennett, "Texts, Readers, Reading Formations"; Chartier, "Communities of Readers," from The Order of Books, pp. 1-23.

Thursday, 7 November

Jerome McGann, "The Socialization of Texts" and "The Textual Condition," from The Textual Condition, pp. 69-98.

Presenter: Alex Edelman; Respondent: Amy Lipman.

Section Six: Intertext & Hypertext

Tuesday, 12 November

Kristeva, "Word, Dialogue, and Novel," from Desire in Language, pp. 64-91; Roland Barthes, "From Work to Text," from Image, Music, Text.

Presenter: Anthony Pryor.

Thursday, 14 November

George Landow, Hypertext, chapters 1 and 3.

Presenter: David Shapiro; Respondent: Case Torstenson.

Section Seven: Technologies of the Word

Tuesday, 19 November

Stanley Fish, "Interpreting the Variorum"; Stuart Curran, Frankenstein: The Pennsylvania Electronic Edition.

Thursday, 21 November

Martha Woodmansee, "The Genius and the Copyright: Economic and Legal Conditions of the Emergence of the 'Author,'" Eighteenth-Century Studies, 17 (1984), 425-48.

Respondent: Dan Orr.

Tuesday, 26 November

Visit to Special Collections, sixth floor of Van Pelt Library.

Thursday, 28 November

No class: Thanksgiving break.

Tuesday, 3 December

Lanham, The Electronic Word, Introduction and Chapter 1.

Final Paper or Project Due.

Thursday, 5 December