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Contemporary Experimental Narratives
ENGL 146EN - Fall 2003,  Rita Raley

  • The Eastgate disk, I Have Said Nothing (Quarterly Review of Hypertext), may be purchased from the UCen bookstore or directly from Eastgate:

  • Ongoing LCI students should make arrangements with me to discuss an alternate Eastgate hypertext.

  • Some of the reading will be available online. Online readings are all reachable from our class webpage. Much of the online reading will require a computer that has programs and plug-ins such as Flash and Real Audio (all free and easy to install; you will generally be prompted if you need to download). Most of the texts are best viewed with a browser such as Internet Explorer, but the latest versions of Netscape should work fine. If you are working on an older computer and a modem line at home, I recommend you visit our Transcriptions studio in the English department, or one of the computer labs such as Phelps, for this part of the reading.

  • Note that the "recommended readings" sections will develop throughout the quarter. At times they will be quite extensive: these mini-bibliographies will provide context for some of the primary readings, lectures, and class discussion. The general equivalent in print culture would be the headnote in an anthology. Some of the links will be used as illustrations in lecture and will appear in our "class notes" sub-pages.

  • As you work on the assignments for this course, you should be particularly mindful of plagiarism and copyright violation. Every external source that you use must be appropriately cited in your work. For your web projects, a link to the original site is the bare minimum for citation. If you are in doubt about whether or not you need citations, you might consult a CLAS tutor or this online guide. Note that UCSB has explicit policies about academic integrity.

  • All assignments for this course must be completed in order to receive a passing grade. There will be no incompletes.

  • Participation
    Weight: 20% of final grade

    Since this course is mid-sized, it will balance lecture and student participation. You should come to class prepared to answer general and detailed questions about the texts on the syllabus. You will also have a chance to participate in class discussions over our listerv. I will post questions and comments to the list, but this forum should allow you to engage with the other members of the class and pursue discussion topics that spring from our regular class sessions.

    Regular attendance is expected and more than two absences will significantly and adversely affect both your participation grade and your final grade.


    Midterm paper
    Weight: 30% of final grade
    Due: October 28

    The midterm paper will be a focused close reading of no fewer than 4 pages. Questions and topics will be assigned.


    Reading Annotations
    Weight: 20% of final grade
    Due: Variable

    Since this is a reading-intensive course, one of your tasks will be to complete two sets of annotations. These are each to be single spaced and one page in length and the writing may be somewhat informal. The annotations are essentially to be textual commentary: you could trace one theme through the text, perform a close reading of one or more passages, or analyze one of its formal features (e.g. the function of the photographs in Dictee). The annotations should demonstrate substantive and in-depth engagement with the text about which you are writing. [rationale for assignment]


  • Length and layout: 1 page, single spaced
  • One of the annotations must be on Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves. The other will be on a text of your choosing. [Selected student annotations of House of Leaves available online]
  • The deadlines for the annotations will coincide with our class discussion of the texts that you choose. So, if you were writing about Chris Ware, the annotations would be due either November 25 or December 2.

    Final Web Project
    Weight: 30% of final grade
    Due: December 9

    For the final course project, all students will compose a paper or project that is placed online at the end of the quarter. This project will allow you to demonstrate the extent and quality of your engagement with the material and issues covered in this course. You should all determine your own topics, but you should do so in consultation with me (I will ask you to submit a proposal at some point in November). Your final projects will move in one of two directions:

  • If the project is a standard seminar paper, then the approximate length should be 8 pages in print and the supporting research should be substantial.
  • Since we are going to study unconventional narratives, you are invited to perform your own experiment with the composition of a critical narrative. If your final project is not a linear critical paper, however, then the guiding quantifiable principle should be subsumed to conceptual scope; that is, the project should be equivalent to a final course paper in argumentative range and ambition.

  • The Transcriptions TAs for spring quarter are Melissa Stevenson and Chris Hoffpauir. They will hold regular lab hours and offer some workshops in web authoring and publishing.
    Instructional Computing also offers free workshops in Flash, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop; see the "Technology Overview" for further information.

    For the basics of UWeb training see the Transcriptions guide to UWeb.



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