The nineteenth century saw the invention and spread of technologies that would forever change how people communicated and experienced the world around them. From the rise of industrial culture to the the bourgeoise revolutions sparked by cheap printed political pamphlets, railroads, telegraph lines, quick transportation of mail, and the serialization of narrative in magazines and newspapers – media revolutions marked the nineteenth century that radically transformed how people understood place, time, perception, ethics, religion, philosophy, and perhaps being itself. “Romantic poets and theorists” Celeste Langan and Maureen McLane argue in “The Medium of Romantic Poetry,” “established a horizon for thinking the conditions of mediality” (257). In fact, most of the authors writing in the nineteenth century reacted in some way to the phenomena of mediation, the desire for immediacy, and the social upheavals brought on by specific technologies. We will look at how these reactions helped to form ideas about media and technology that impact us even today. We’ll also survey the media changes specific to our own time and their impact on nineteenth-century scholarship in the form of the digital humanities, digital archives, and the rise of online fandom devoted to steampunk and alternative histories. In addition to a class presentation, you will produce a 15-18 page seminar paper, participate in online conversation, and help collaborate on a class-produced digital project that we’ll determine in the first weeks of the course.
- Frederich Kittler. Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Stanford UP, 2002.
- Jussi Parrika. What is Media Archaeology? Polity, 2012.
- Franco Moretti. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. Verso, 2005.
- Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads. Penguin, 2007.
- William Wordsworth, The Prelude. Penguin, 1996.
- Thomas Carlyle. Sartor Resartus. Oxford, 2008.
- Charles Dickens. Our Mutual Friend. Oxford, 2009.
- George Eliot. The Lifted Veil. Oxford, 2009.
- Neil Stephenson, The Diamond Age, Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. Spectra, 2000.
- Investigate the relationship between media change and historical writing.
- Understand the emergence of cheap printing, widespread literacy and its impact on the orality of poetry, its remediation in print, and the codependence of technology and culture.
- Articulate the benefits and problems of archival research in relation to the discourse of new historicism and the struggle over expertise between scholars and online fandom.
Week 1: Media Archaeology, Discourse Networks, Remediation
- Jussi Parrikka, “Cartographies of the Old and the New,” “Media Theory and New Materialism,” and “Media Archeology of the Senses,” What is Media Archaeology? Polity, 2012.
- Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, “Immediacy, Hypermediacy and Remediation.” Remediation: Understanding New Media. MIT Press, 2000.
- Frederic Kittler, “The Mother’s Mouth,” Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Stanford UP, 1992.
- John Guillory, “The Genesis of the Media Concept.” Critical Inquiry 36.2. Winter 2010.
- Frederic Kittler, “Language Channels,” Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Stanford UP, 1992.
- William Wordsworth, The Prelude (Books 1; 12-13)
- Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads.
- Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journals (selections)
- Maureen N. McLane, “British Romantic Mediality and Beyond: Reflections on the Fate of ‘Orality.’ Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge UP, 2011.
- ST Coleridge, “Christabel”
- Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel
- Celeste Langan and Maureen N. McLane, “The Medium of Romantic Poetry.” Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge UP, 2008.
- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
- William Blake, Milton
- Tom Mole, “Romantic Celebrity.” Byron’s Romantic Celebrity: Industrial Culture and the Hermeneutic of Intimacy. Palgrave, 2007.
- GG Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Books 1-2
- Mary Robinson, Selected Poems
- James Mussell and Suzanne Paylor. “From the Margins and for the Margins: Studying the Nineteenth Century Press Today.” Palgrave, 2012.
- Jussi Parrikka, “Archive Dynamics: Software Culture and Digital Heritage.” What is Media Archeology?
- Investigate online digital archives devoted to 19th century periodicals.
- Richard Menke, “Introduction: Victorian Informatics” and “The New Post Age.” Telegraphic Realism: Victorian Fiction and Other Information Systems. Stanford UP, 2007.
- Thomas Carlyle. Sartor Resartus
- Julian Wolfreys. Dickens’s London: Subjectivity and Phenomenal Urban Multiplicity. Edinburgh University Press, 2012.
- Charles Dickens. Our Mutual Friend.
- James Mussell, “ ‘Scarers in Print: Media Literacy and Media Practice from Our Mutual Friend to Friend me on Facebook.” Jimmussell.com, May 4, 2012.
- Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend.
- George Eliot, The Lifted Veil
- Menke, “Information Unveiled” Telegraphic Realism.
Week 11: Archives and the Digital Humanities
- Examine The William Blake Archive and The Rosetti Archive.
- Matt Kirschenbaum, “What is the Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?” ADE Bulletin. 2010.
- Jerome McGann, “The Socialization of Texts.” The Textual Condition. Princeton UP, 1991.
- John A. Walsh, “Multimedia and Multitasking: A Survey of Digital Resources for Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies.” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Blackwell, 2008.
Week 12: Distant Readings
- Examine The Republic of Letters.
- Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History.
- Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, “A Conversation with Data: Prospecting Victorian Words and Ideas.” Victorian Studies.
- Ryan Heuser and Long Le-Khac. “A Quantitative Literary History of 2,958 Nineteenth-Century British Novels: The Semantic Cohort Method.” Stanford Literary Lab. 2012.
Week 13: History, Speculative Fiction, and Media Archaeology
- Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in Networked Culture. NYU Press, 2013.
- Rachel Bowser and Brian Croxall, “Industrial Evolution.” Neo-Victorian Studies, 3.1 (2010)
- Play Echo Bazaar.
- Jussi Parikka, “Practicing Media Archaeology: Creative Methodologies for Remediation.” What is Media Archaeology?
- Neil Stephenson, The Diamond Age. Spectra, 2000.
- Neil Stephenson, The Diamond Age.