Student using laptop with letters in the background.

Week 1: Startup

Course Introduction

Welcome to ENG 2360: American Literature and the Arts, which will be taught with the subtitle: Underrepresented Voices in Digital Literature. Here’s a brief FAQ on the course:

What is digital literature?

Digital writing takes advantage of the potential digital technologies have to offer beyond the limits of the page. Digital literature (aka electronic literature, or elit) is literary digital writing.

Why underrepresented voices?

Digital literature is a kind of creative practice that has historically required certain kinds of privilege, resulting in under representation from certain groups. This course is an introduction to digital literature that will seek to offer a more balanced representation of practitioners in the field. For more details, read the course description in the syllabus.

Why are we using this blog instead of just ASULearn?

I have a long established practice of creating artisanal blogs to present the weekly assignments. This is partly a commitment to making my courses open access (and beautiful), and partly a way to protect the content from disappearing when no longer supported by the institutional learning management system. Plus, you can see previous iterations of this course if you look back at earlier posts, which can give you an idea of the material we have covered in the past.

We will use ASULearn for all forum posts, discussion, online classes, and to turn in formal assignments. That way you have a private and safe space to share your ideas and respond to the work.

Wednesday, January 17

In class:


  • Buy Electronic Literature by Scott Rettberg (Wiley press, Amazon)
  • Introduce yourself in the Community Forum in ASULearn, specifically as a reply to the Introductions post:
    • How you’d like us to call you (including preferred pronouns, if you like)
    • Add a photo of yourself to your post and ASU Learn profile
    • What you’re majoring and minoring in (if applicable)
    • Share a link to a cool bit of writing that takes advantage of the potential of digital media. Explain briefly what you like about it. Focus on things you’ve encountered outside of this class.

Friday, January 19

Asynchronous class:

  • Watch “Third Generation Electronic Literature
  • Read Rettberg. Electronic Literature, Chapter 1: Genres of Electronic Literature (here’s an excerpt if you order a physical book)
  • In our Unit 1 forum, write a 250 word (approximately) post in which you discuss a digital work that you consider might be a 3rd generation electronic literature work. Focus on things you’ve encountered outside of this class and offer a link to/about the work, if its online. Discuss how it fits the framework. This is due by Saturday morning.
  • Read and respond to one classmate’s postings before class on Monday.