DMS 606 (#289074 )/ENG 706 (#214235)
Poetics of Programmable Literature
T 12:30-3:10, 232 CFA
Prof. Loss Glazier

Programmable literature can be defined as new media writing that uses programming and/or interactivity to generate varying content for different readings. This emerging discipline is a truly dynamic field of digital media poetics. This is a graduate-level course about reading programmable literature and about relevant literary/digital theory. It will provide detailed considerations of works by John Cayley, Philippe Bootz, Neil Hennessey, Judd Morrissey/Lori Talley, Simon Biggs and others. The concept of "literature" will extend to other implementations of programmability, including diverse types of textual art machines. We will consider the grammar of programming languages and will differentiate programming code from scripting languages and simple mark-up. A survey of programming languages, algorithmic thinking, and text manipulation programs will be included, depending on student interest. We will look at some Language Poetry practices as relating to programmability. We will consider the relation between programmed variance and scholarly textual criticism. Theories of programmability will be central to the course and will include a look at foundational writings, including Turing, Babbage, Kittler, and others. Questions that will be raised include how meaning is made when texts have multiple content, how such multiple content can be tracked, how the scope of a work is determined, and how you read between the variants to locate issues at the core of such works. Course requirements: reading, oral presentation, final project, digital or paper. If digital, final project may be a programming project, text manipulation project, or variance analysis, digital or traditional; if paper, given the newness of the field, it is hoped that paper can be publishable. No programming/technical experience is required. Text: TBA.