Computers & Writing (C&W) draws its theory and practice from Rhetoric, Composition, Communication, and English and Literacy Studies, among others. C&W scholars have been consciously thinking about how technologies impact the ways people communicate through writing for at least 25 years. In this graduate seminar, we will read a critical history of C&W beginning with Benjamin’s seminal article, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936), and ending with an application of Actor-Network Theory and Activity Theory by way of Spinuzzi’s Network (2010). Along the way, we will explore various technologies like document design software, web design software, blogs, Twitter and other social media tools, wikis, and mobile technologies in order to discuss the (re)mediational effects these technologies have on written communication.
Students will be responsible for weekly readings and discussions, including regular blog posts, Tweets, and wiki updates as well as a final seminar project.
By the end of the course, you should be able to