LMC 3116

Literature, Media, and Culture 3116:
Science, Technology, and Postmodernism

Course Description

This course focuses on the relation among science, technology, and the art, literature, and culture of postmodernism, with a particular emphasis on the influence of mathematics, media, and information technology on postmodern literary theory and practice. Major topics to discuss include database aesthetics in print, film, and new media; constraint-based and algorithmic textual “programs” used in the works of the Oulipo group, electronic poets, and conceptual writers; and the ways that proliferating media have framed postmodern literary practice.

Texts and Resources

Primary Texts

Borges, Jorge Luis. Selections from Labyrinths: “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” “The Garden of Forking Paths,” “The Library of Babel,” and “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”.
Cage, John. Poetry selections.
Calvino, Italo. If on a winter’s night a traveler. (William Weaver, translator.)
Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee.
Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. (Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi, translators.)
Mac Low, Jackson. Poetry selections.
Montfort, Nick. Book and Volume.
Nelson, Jason. “Game, Game, Game, and Again Game.”
Nichol, BP. First Screening.
Osman, Jena. 
The Network.
OULIPO (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle; “workshop of potential literature”).  Selected works.
Racter. The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed.
Rankine, Claudia. 
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Secondary Resources

Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.”
Calvino, Italo. “Prose and Anticombinatorics.”
Hassan, Ihab. “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism.”
Manovich, Lev. “Database as a Symbolic Form.”
Nelson, Theodor H. “A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate.”
Strickland, Stephanie. “Born Digital.”
Turing, Alan. “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.”
Wiener, Norbert. “Men, Machines, and the World About.”

Projects and Assignments

Forum Participation
Group Introduction to an Author and His or Her Work
Midterm Exam
Analytical Research Project
Self-Assessment of Class Participation
Final Exam