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Articles, essays, reviews of literature, talks, and white papers generated by the Transliteracies project.

Film and Visual Culture: Narratives of the Virtual (Instructor: James Tobias, UCR) (Fall 2006) (graduate seminar)

[.pdf course description]

This seminar will examine both narrative form in cybernetic media and cultural narratives of cybernetics, virtuality, digital networks. Digital media and networks mediate globally extensive processes of cultural production, indicating changing dynamics amidst networks of technologies, cultures, states, and power. The formal specificities of digital cultural forms (such as the graphical interface, interactive narrative, or networked authorship, distribution, and response, for example) allow significant shifts in the temporo-spatial dynamics of cultural production and reception, so that digital media works have prompted large-scale re-evaluation of accounts of subjectivity, authorship, agency, textual form, and audience response. (more…)

New Media and the Reading Experience–New Approaches to Textual Forms, Interfaces, and Social Interactions (Instructors: Alan Liu, UCSB and Kevin Almeroth, UCSB) (Fall 2006) (graduate colloquium)

[Course site]

This instance of the seminar will focus loosely on the mutation of text and reading in digital, multimedia, and networked information environments. What is the current state of research and technological development in adapting the relationship between print, orality, and graphics commonly called “text” to new media? Issues of interest might include: hardware innovations (such as “e-ink” or flexible OLED displays); new text visualization and interface designs; adaptive text aggregation systems (such as Inform.com); tools for online reading and annotation; research in digital literacy and reading practices; text-archiving,—scanning, and—searching initiatives; blogs and social-networking systems; collective reading practices; wireless text-messaging; text-encoding; and the relation between the history and future of the book.

URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)

“A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), is a compact string of characters used to identify or name a resource. The main purpose of this identification is to enable interaction with representations of the resource over a network, typically the World Wide Web, using specific protocols. URIs are defined in schemes defining a specific syntax and associated protocols.” (Wikipedia)

The most common URI is a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, which both identifies a resource and describes how to find it. The URN, or Uniform Resource Name, names a resource without giving location information.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)

“American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper- and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, and related data. Each alphanumeric character is represented as a number from 0 to 127, translated into a 7-bit binary code for the computer. ASCII is used by most computers and printers, and because of this, text-only files can be transferred easily between different kinds of computers. ASCII code also includes characters to indicate backspace, carriage return, etc., but does not include accents and special letters not used in English. Extended ASCII has additional characters (128-255).” (TechDictionary.com).

OWL Web Ontology Language

“The OWL Web Ontology Language is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans. OWL facilitates greater machine interpretability of Web content than that supported by XML, RDF, and RDF Schema (RDF-S) by providing additional vocabulary along with a formal semantics. OWL has three increasingly-expressive sublanguages: OWL Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full” (W3C).

Semantic Web

“The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF)” (W3C). (more…)

Resource Description Framework (RDF)

RDF, or Research Description Framework, is a means of structuring metadata and describing relationships between resources, generally via XML namespaces. A resource can be any discrete item — a web page, .pdf file, media file, etc. A resource such as a web page might have particular properties defined such as “title,” “content,” “creator,” etc. Properties are non-hierarchical and the more properties that are defined, the better that search interfaces are able to sort through large numbers of resources. Relationships between resources can be made explicit through the defining of properties. For example, the resource “The Last Man” might be linked to the resource “Mary Shelley” via the property “author of.” (more…)


Collex is a tool developed at the University of Virginia’s Applied Research in Patacriticism lab (ARP) and currently operated in conjunction with NINES (Networked Interface for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship). Described as an “interpretive hub,” (Nowviskie) Collex acts as an interface for nine different peer-reviewed, scholarly databases. The interface allows users to access all nine databases in one search, while results retain the unique characteristics of each individual source. Additionally, users can create exhibits for their own personal use, or they may submit exhibits to be shared with all users. As such, Collex and its relationship to data evolves as users interact with it, relying on folksonomy and user-generated relationships to construct new ways of viewing the information it contains therein. (more…)

Beyond Search: A Preliminary Skill Set for Online Literacy

“Beyond Search: A Preliminary Skill Set for Online Literacy” by Monica Bulger.
(version 1.1; updated 9/13/06)

About the Author: Monica Bulger is a doctoral student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, former UCSB Writing Program Lecturer, and current Co-Director of the Bren Graduate Writing Center. Her research interests include educational technologies, cognitive writing processes, and student engagement. She currently works with the Technology in Education research initiative, an interdisciplinary team that studies the impacts of technology on student learning. More information about the author.

Related Categories: Literacy Studies

Transliteracies Research Paper PDF Version PDF version of the research report.

Today’s online reading experience is a convergence of search engines, blogs, wikis, forums, social networks, RSS feeds, and traditional web pages (Lieu & Kinzer, 2000). Efforts such as Google Books, Yahoo’s Online Content Alliance, and digital libraries are increasing the rate at which resources such as journal articles, books, periodicals, and informational websites are published online (Carlson & Young, 2004; Gorman & Wilkin, 2005; Hafner, 2005). Correspondingly, an increasing percentage of the U.S. population (73% in 2006) is turning to online resources for work-related research, education. and general information about hobbies, health and shopping (Madden, 2006). Online users now have access to vast amounts of information but may not know how to use it (Azevedo & Cromley, 2004; Rouet, 2006). The risk of information overload, combined with the seductive distractions of online media, challenge users to develop savvy navigation and filtering skills. Faced with over eight billion pages of information (Lyman & Varian, 2003; Markoff, 2005) and unlimited opportunities for interaction, how do online users select what they need and know when to stop?



Research Report by Katrina Kimport
(created 3/31/06; version 1.0)

Related Categories: Online reading and society; Social Networking

Original Object for Study description

First launched in February of 2004, Facebook.com (initially known as Thefacebook.com) is an online networking website that allows users to create their own profiles and link to and view the profiles of others. Facebook is unique in that its online communities are based on offline university communities and membership is restricted to users with a .edu email address.

Facebook is the second fastest growing website and is particularly popular with young adults currently enrolled in or recently graduated from college. Because Facebook users are organized by college affiliation, users have a clear offline presence. The site thus offers the opportunity to investigate the relationship between offline communities and their online counterparts. (more…)