last! in-class discussion questions on computer-generated poetry

  1. What’s at stake in Tristan Tzara’s “How to make a Dadaist poem“? What is he advocating for? What is he trying to disrupt?
  2. Now take a look at the first computer generated poem by Erin Mouré that I had you read for homework – how is the Tzara poem different from this?
  3. To what extent does a work have to be created with a particular intention in order to be called art? Is randomly generated poetry “poetry” proper?
    1. Does the means by which the poem has been created (scraps of paper versus a computer program) make any difference? Does it change the meaning or significance of the work?
    2. Are you able to glean meaning from the Mouré poems?
    3. Is there a way to see these poems as just as meaningful as poems that have been carefully crafted, with the author having a clear intention for each word?

in class discussion questions on YHCHI

  1. Why has YHCHI deliberately chosen to make their work non-interactive? Or, are they trying to get us to think more expansively about what interactivity is and whether it is as necessarily “good” as we might tend to believe?
  2. Why have they deliberately chosen a clean, even bland and uniform aesthetic for their works? Is there some connection between the content (or the story you watched unfold in “Dakota”) and the form of their work?

questions to help you read “Twelve Blue” and “The Jew’s Daughter”

  1. How does the text attempt to be “of” the web?
  2. How is the text exploring the unique affordances of the hypertext link?
  3. How does the text attempt to depart from print-based assumptions about what constitutes a text, an author, a reader?
  4. What is the text about? Can you provide a reading of it? If you cannot interpret it in the same way you would a print-based text, how do you interpret this text?
  5. If the text is trying to explore what a truly born-digital literary work could be, what is an appropriate interpretative response that is also born-digital?

in class peer review

Here are questions to ask yourself as you read through each other’s papers:

  1. Does the paper have a title, thesis and blueprint along the lines of what we’ve discussed in class?
  2. Does this paper have a compelling thesis/blueprint?
  3. Is the paper clearly and logically organized from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph?
  4. Are all claims well supported with outside evidence, quotes etc.?
  5. Does the paper cite appropriate, scholarly sources?
  6. Is the paper clearly and artfully written?

one more extra credit opportunity!

“What is Research in English: Incorporating Material Culture” will feature Cheryl Higashida, Jill Heydt-Stevenson, Lori Emerson, and Adam Bradley. This event will be held from 12:00 to 1:00pm in the English Department student lounge, Hellems 115, on Wed. April 5th.

A catered lunch will be served and all are invited. Come get fed and find out more about what your professors are working on!


small group work on cyberfeminism and the cyborg

1) Quickly review the notes you just took on my lecture introducing you to the work of Donna Haraway.

2) Reread this quote from the entry on “Cyberfeminism”:  “‘Cyberspace does not exist in a vacuum; it is intimately connected to numerous real-world institutions and systems that thrive on gender separation and hierarchy’; cyberfeminism, accordingly, should be a political undertaking committed to creating and maintaining real and virtual places for women in regard to new technologies—such as creating new feminist platforms and resources, including hands-on techno-education for women and working directly with code—while also critically assessing the “impact of new technologies on the lives of women and the insidious gendering of technoculture in everyday life” (108).

3) Now, I’d like you to pick a specific digital media platform or piece of software and try to reimagine it as a specifically feminist platform or piece of software. For example, what would a feminist word processor look like? A feminist videogame? A feminist D2L? A feminist search engine? The point here is to think as far outside of the current status quo as possible in order to imagine what could be possible.