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EN375 - Fiction Now: Narrative, Media and Theory in the 21st Century

REVSION SEMINARS IN TERM 3 WILL BE HELD BY TINA FOR ALL GROUPS ON MAY 3RD IN THE OCCULUS BUILDING. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR ONE OF THE GROUPS HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16qIaB4qslfKWf9_THB6CpbqP40RnnHQTwqrgprayYUU/edit?usp=sharing

This module will form one of the pathway approved options for the English pathway and American Pathway, and will be a distributional requirement for the other two pathways.

Course Structure, 2017-18

Convenor: Christina Lupton

Seminars taught by:

Milly Weaver (Monday 1-2.30 and 2.30-4 in H543)

Christina Lupton (Thursday 12-1.30 in H507 and 2.00-3.30 in F.25A)

Office Hours:

Milly Weaver: 11.30-12.30 Mondays in H528

Christina Lupton: Tuesday 1-2 and Wed/Thurs by appointment in HU515)

Course objectives

As a form — material and generic -- the novel seems to have survived the digital turn better than expected. But what is it like to read books alongside connected devices, films, and updates? What do novelists themselves make of this juxtaposition? And perhaps most provocatively: if we were once hardwired to think of our selves and our existence through books, how do books work now that we are mediated by other devices? In this course we'll read a very recent selection of US and UK fictions alongside theorists of media and (post)modernity. Students will be expected to read at least a novel a week, to think about forms such as the review essay, and to engage widely with the question of what our contemporary moment in the history of fiction writing brings, and to do oral presentations in seminars.

Assessment

Term 2, Week 1: 3000 word essay (30%)

Term 2, Week 7: 4-5 page book review essay of a recent work of fiction (20%)

This review should be written in the style of an LARB, Public Books, or TLS essay, and may be on any 2017 novel of your choice. You will be encouraged to publish these essays if you wish and everyone will publish their essays on the couse wiki page.

Exam Period: final 3-hour exam consisting of 2 essays on at least 2 novels other than those covered in your essay.

Reading Material

The novels for this course have all been ordered from the Warwick University Bookshop. Secondary material may be accessed electornically by clicking on the links below.

Course Outline

SECTION ONE: SCROLLING AND SCREENING

Week 1: Introduction

Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (1999), 1-64

Jesscia Brantley, "Medieval Remediations" in N. Katherine Hayles, Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era (2013),pg 201-220.

Week 2: Ali Smith, The Accidental (2005).

Week 3: Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010).

‘“This is all artificial”: An Interview with Jennifer Egan’

Egan, "Black Box"

If you are interested in thinking about "Network Fictions" you may also like: Network fictions article

Week 4: Ben Lerner, 10.04

Week 5: Kember and Zylinska, Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process, Introduction and Chpter 1.

If you find yoruself interested in this piece, you MAY want to read Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology"

BREAK

Section Two: SEEING AND REMEMBERING

Week 7. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida.

Week 8. Sebald, Austerlitz

Optional extra reading: "The Limits of Transference: Theories of Memory and Photography in W.G.Sebald's Austerlitz" in Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory ed Astrid Eril and Ann Rigney

Week 9. Teju Cole, Blind Spot (we will focus on these extracts)

Cole has given many interesting interviews about Blind Spot and photography -- please read some of your choice.

Week 10. Bernard Steigler, "Memory," in W. J. T. Mitchell & Mark B. N. Hansen (eds.), Critical Terms for Media Studies (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press): 66–87. (2010)

BREAK

Section Three: WRITING AND BEING HUMAN

Week 1: Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto.

Optional: Anything that interests you in Hayles, My Mother Was A Computer. Prologue here

Week 2. Tom Mcarthy, Remainder (2005)

Week 3: Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (2005)

Week 4: Rachel Cusk, Outline (2015)

Week 5: Andre Alexis, Fifteen Dogs

BREAK

Section Four: ON PAPER

Week 7: from Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowlegde, Introduction and Chapter 3, Xerographers of the Mind

eds. Peter Stoicheff and Andrew Taylor, The Future of the Page (2004), Introduction and Chapter One

Week 8: Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000)

Week 9: Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)

Week 10: Ali Smith, How to Be Both (2014)

Optional extra reading: John Durham Peters, Marvelous Clouds: Towards a Philosophy of New Media, Chapter 6