Spring 2024

Literary Methods: Digital Approaches to Storytelling

Prereq: Two subjects in Literature
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

What place do stories have in the digital age? How can we understand works of literature of the past in new ways using digital tools? What new possibilities and problems do digital technologies create for storytellers and their audiences?

This class is focused on stories in the broadest sense, including novels, novellas and short stories; video games, digital video, interactive fiction, fan fiction, AI-generated narrative; non-fiction storytelling by journalists and social media users; storytelling using the human voice, whether face to face or through media like podcasts and audiobooks. You’ll develop new methods for reading stories, creating stories and forming communities around stories.

Because this is a class on methods, the emphasis will be on learning to do and make, and reflecting on that process. You’ll spend the semester working on four projects that involve: 1) analyzing novels using digital tools, 2) adapting stories into digital media, 3) creating storytelling communities in the digital age, 4) telling born-digital stories. We’ll also read two works of literature together as a class: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel about breaking down and transforming the human body that has itself been repeatedly broken down and transformed into other media, and Aaron A. Reid’s Subcutanean, an experimental multiverse novel where no two copies are the same.