[-empyre-] digital cane kanuns

Jim Andrews jim at vispo.com
Sat Mar 21 18:00:05 EST 2009

> One sees already in the various fields of digital writing a tendency to 
> try
> to establish canons, "originators," "core curriculums," al based on one or
> another ideological point of view in terms of who has or will have or did
> have power within institutions where such examples are used on a mass 
> scale.

I am not in the educational system and I don't go to many conferences, so I 
am a bit outside that loop.

I do 'referrer surf', though, to see who's visiting my site. So I come 
across the odd site where my work is taught. And I look at what they're 
studying through the semester or year, if possible. Actually, I don't see 
much homogeneity, David. I have also run across many syllabi in which my 
work is not present. When searching for the work of this or that artist.

The courses seem to be quite diverse. They have titles like 2D Computer 
Gaming; Advanced Nonfiction Writing; Art & Technology; Comparative 
Literature; Composing for the Web; Computation as an Expressive Medium; 
Cybertext and Contemporary Literature; Digital Aesthetics;  Digital Art; 
Digital Literature; Digital Literacy; Digital Media; Digital Poetics; 
Digital Poetry; Digital Rhetoric; Electronic Literature; Fundamentals in 
Communication Design; Form in Poetry; Hypertext Fiction; Hypertext Fiction 
and Digital Poetries; Hypertextual Literature; Interactive Digital 
Multimedia; Interactive Fiction; Intermedia, Intermedialities; Introduction 
to Multimedia; Language Art in Old & New Media; Literature & Hypermedia; 
Literature in a Wired World; Literature Online; Media Cultures; Media and 
Representation; Modern & Contemporary Poetry; Multimedia; Multimedia 
Writing; Net Art; Networked Media; New Media Poetry; New Media Histories & 
Practices; New Media Theory; Non-Linear Narrative; Prose and its 
Malcontents; Software Art; Sprachkunst in alten und neuen Medien; Studies in 
Literature; Textual Conditions; Textual Media; The Anthropology of 
Cyberspace; The Internet and Interactive Media; The Sound of Poetry, the 
Poetry of Sound; Twentieth Century Poetry; Visual Rhetoric; Word and Image; 
and Writing Spaces/Writing Selves.

The discussion of 'canon' has been rather mysterious in that no names have 
been mentioned, as though everyone knows what is being referred to, like who 
makes canon and who's in it. But I don't see much unanimity. There's some 
range, even in digital literature. From the work of writer/programmers to 
bloggers, from code poetry to concrete, from visual to command-line work, 
from multimedial intermedia to mono-media, from interactive to linear, from 
net-oriented to performance or installation or whatever, and so on.

I think it's great that there are numerous courses, now, around the world, 
in which digital poetry/epoetry/electronic literature/yadayada is taught. 
And different scholars are going to have different favorite work, different 
approaches, goals, and so on.


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