English 214 – Culture and Technology was offered for the first time at Capilano University in Fall 2008 in conjunction with the Year 2 CultureNet core courses. The primary text was the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1. We explored the work of dozens of writers and enjoyed the firsthand pleasure of working with three of the writers anthologized in the ELC1: J.R. Carpenter, Donna Leishman + Brian Kim Stefans. One year later, we are doing it all over again with Megan Sapnar Ankerson, Sharif Ezzat + Chris Joseph.
In its first two incarnations, the E-Lit Forums have been a three-part process:
- Guest writers post a meditation on their work in advance of the class devoted to their pieces. We arrive in class ready to discuss the post with reference to the writers’ work anthologized in the ELC1 and elsewhere.
- The posts lead to animated provocative in-class discussions and the students generate three to five questions for the guest writers, which are posted to the blog.
- The writers then respond to our questions in a final post and a discussion of the responses is woven into the following week’s classes.
We have been thoroughly impressed by the generosity of our guest bloggers. Their observations and insights have suggestively expanded our sense of this emergent genre and its place in the literary landscape of the twenty-first century. The sense of being a part of an emerging literary critical conversation is magnified when we received shout outs in the artist’s own blogs and websites (as we did from Chris Joseph).
We look forward to repeating this digital twist on the traditional author’s visit and sharing the meditations and conversations that follow with fellow avid readers of electronic literature and digital poetry in the next fall. In the meantime, what follows below is a series of links to the 2008 and 2009 E-Lit Forum posts.
Aurelea Mahood, Culture Convener + English Coordinator