English 4803: Modernist Information MediaCourse Description

Modernist Information Media is designed to study the changes in literary texts appearing in print during the rise of digital media.  This class will examine how changes in the media landscape were both forecasted by literature and thinking in print, and also how the influence of digital technology altered the uses of print as a platform for textual media.  The readings for the class will focus on selections from early twentieth century literary texts such as Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans, Ezra Pound’s Cantos, and H.D.’s Notes on Thought and Vision The class will then jump ahead to read contemporary British novels Satin Island by Tom McCarthy and NW by Zadie Smith to consider how literary texts changed alongside digital technology.  In addition to traditional essay assignments, students will be evaluated on weekly discussion posts on the readings and a guided digital humanities project.  

Texts and Materials


Notes on Thought and Vision by H.D.

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

NW by Zadie Smith

Laptop and text editor

Major Assignments

Discussion Posts on each Monday of the semester 100
Participation 100
Paper 1 (5 pages) 100
Paper 2 (10 pages) 200
“Canto II” Text Encoding Project 50
Total 550

Tentative Class Schedule
I reserve the right to alter this document in any way to meet the evolving demands of the course.  I will inform you of any changes, and the most updated copy of this syllabus can always be found on the course site. The schedule, and the details given in the schedule, will change in response to the specific needs of our class. For this reason, the course schedule is kept as a separate document and is updated monthly.  Changes are also noted by announcements on Harvey. Please pay attention to updates given in class and posted on Harvey.

Unit 1: Coded Print

Week 1:

Monday, January 9

Introductions, read syllabus, class introduction

Wednesday, January 11

“Introduction: Comparative Textual Media,” by Katherine Hayles and Jessica Pressman

Friday, January 13

Tom McCarthy “Transmission and the Individual Remix” ($2 Kindle Edition on Amazon)

Week 2: American Source Code

Monday, January 16

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: No Class

Discussion board post due by Sunday 5 pm

Wednesday, January 18

The Making of Americans, by Gertrude Stein (pages 1-34 in Coursepack)

Friday, January 20

The Making of Americans, “History of a Family’s Progress” (pages 904-925 in Coursepack)

Week 3:

Monday, January 23

Discussion board post due by Sunday 5 pm

Gertrude Stein “The Gradual Making of Americans” (Coursepack)

Wednesday, January 25

The Making of Americans and “The Gradual Making of Americans” discussion

Friday, January 27

Discussion cont.

Week 4: Reverse Engineering Ulysses

Monday January 30

Discussion board post due by Sunday 5 pm

“Aeolus” episode of Ulysses by James Joyce (Coursepack)

Wednesday, February 1

“Aeolus” cont.

Friday, February 3

“Aeolus” episode of Ulysses in the Little Review via the Modernist Journals Project



Compare 1922 text with version in Little Review; generate timeline of the “Aeolus” episode’s progress in Class

Week 5:

Monday, February 6

Discussion Board post due by Sunday 5 pm

View Gilbert Schema: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_schema_for_Ulysses

Rhetorical Examples from Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses

Wednesday, February 8

“Aeolus” Notesheets from Joyce’s Ulysses Notesheets in the British Museum (Coursepack)

Friday, February 10


Unit 2: Print as Multimedia

Week 6:

Monday, February 13

Discussion Board post due by Sunday at 5 pm

Notes on Thought and Vision by Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) pages 1-26

Watch film Borderline starring Paul Robeson and Hilda Doolittle

Link: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2do5p7_borderline-1930-feature_shortfilms

Wednesday, February 15

Notes on Thought and Vision by Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) pages 26-53

Friday, February 17

“Projector I” and “Projector II” by H.D. (Coursepack)

Unit 3: Print into Digital

Week 7:

Monday, February 20


Discussion Board Post due Sunday by 5 pm

“Canto II” by Ezra Pound

Carroll F. Terrell’s A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound to help identify the poem’s

references (Coursepack)

Wednesday, February 22

“Canto II” cont.

Friday, February 24

Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), Notepad ++, and text editing

TEI: http://www.tei-c.org/index.xml

Week 8:

Monday, February 27

No discussion post: Download Notepad ++ and digital version of “Canto II” and prepared set of


Notepad ++ download: https://notepad-plus-plus.org/download/v7.1.html

Begin lab

Wednesday, March 1

In class Encoding Lab BRING YOUR LAPTOP

Friday, March 3


Wrap up lab, submit encoded text for grade, and discuss relationship between interpretation and encoding

Unit 3: Print After Digital

Week 9:

Monday, March 7

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy pages 1-50

Wednesday, March 9

Satin Island cont., pages 51-75

Friday, March 11

Satin Island cont., pages 76-100

Week 10:

Monday, March 20

Discussion Post due by Sunday at 5 pm

Satin Island cont., pages 101-150

Wednesday, March 22

Satin Island cont., pages 151-175

Friday, March 24

Satin Island cont., pages 176-end

Week 11:

Monday, March 27

Discussion Post due by Sunday at 5 pm

NW, by Zadie Smith pages 1-53

Wednesday, March 30

NW, 54-82

Friday, March 31

NW, pages 83-101

Week 12:

Monday, April 3

Discussion Post due by Sunday at 5 pm

NW cont., 102-154

Wednesday, April 5

NW cont., 156-180

Friday, April 7

NW cont., 181-198

Week 13:

Monday, April 10

Discussion Post due by Sunday 5 pm

NW cont., pages 199-250

Wednesday, April 12

NW cont., pages 250-275

Friday, April 14

NW cont., pages 275-301

Week 14:

Monday, April 17

Discussion Post due by Sunday 5 pm

NW cont., pages 301-352

Wednesday, April 19

NW cont., pages 352-373

Friday, April 21

NW cont., pages 374-end

Week 15:

Monday, April 24

Class Wrap Up, discussion about papers, and maybe some food

Wednesday, April 26

Reading Days

Friday, April 28

No Class: Final Exams

May 1: Final Paper due


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