2019-2020 Catalog

CSLC 211 Literature, Media, Technology: Scenes of Writing

This course introduces students to a wide range of literary, philosophical, and media-theoretical texts from the 18th century to the present that confront us with the question: What is writing? Throughout the semester, we will examine different "scenes of writing," from the écriture automatique of the Age of Romanticism (Lichtenberg, Hoffmann, Goethe) to the mechanized typewriting of classical modernism (Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Benjamin, Kafka), and consider how literature's imperative of dramatizing writing frames the protocols of communication that guide a given literary work. We will also interrogate the different ways in which writing has been theorized in modernity: as a self-referential symbolic practice; as a form of communication in which memory, experience and knowledge are produced, articulated and organized; and as a procedure of inscription in which language, technology, and bodily gesture are inextricably intertwined. Prominent theorists of writing to be discussed in the course include: Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Bernhard Siegert, Cornelia Vismann, and Friedrich A. Kittler.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus