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Transliteracies is primarily a research project. But participants and research assistants teach courses that bear on the themes of the project or allow students to contribute research reports for the project Clearinghouse.

MAT 259 Visualizing Information (Instructor: George Legrady, UCSB) (Winter 2007) (graduate seminar)

A lecture and lab course to explore the aesthetic organization of information. Lectures and readings will focus on a range of conceptual models of data visual mapping as implemented in various disciplines, artistic, statistical and scientific, that are used to represent information visually.

Topics will include: Metadata, systems of classification, algorithmic models, time based linear animation, visual narrative, self-organizing and other mapping and visualization algorithms. Technical lab demonstrations will focus on SQL, PHP, and the Kohonen mapping algorithm. Students will come to the course with the intent to explore and produce visualizations based on data sets of their choice. (more…)

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.

Media Morphologies (Instructors: William B. Warner, UCSB and Lisa Parks, UCSB) (Spring 2006) (graduate seminar)

[Course site]

In both film and literary studies, there is a strong tendency to study media history and media culture so that it delivers discrete “objects”, “texts”, and “visual and sound artifacts,” for close interpretation and study. One can find this procedure among scholars who favor “great” or “popular” media texts. While the history and discursive procedures of film and literary studies makes this bias quite understandable, this course attempts to take a different path. We want to pay attention to some of the most striking features of modern media forms, practices, and technologies: they facilitate mobility, transfers, adaptation, deformation, reformation, networking, mutations within the media infrastructure, and many species of communication (one to one; one to many; broadband, narrowband, etc.). All these transformations in the form of media are implicated in new spatial configurations and new (often accelerated) media temporalities. If there is a general logic to these morphologies of media, we hope our course will begin to explore them. (more…)

Reading Code (Instructor: Rita Raley, UCSB) (Winter 2006) (graduate seminar)

[Course site]
[Transliteracies-related assignment]

This seminar will address code as an object and medium of contemporary critical inquiry, political engagement, and artistic and literary production. Issues and genres that we will study throughout include the poetics, aesthetics, and politics of code; Saussurean semiotics; codework; operational text; electronic English and global language politics; machine translation; software cultures (including the Free Software and Open Source movements); the control society; and hacktivism and tactical media. Text+ (more…)

Textuality and New Media Ecologies, 1600-2000 (Instructor: Alan Liu, UCSB) (Winter 2006) (graduate seminar)

[Course site]
[Transliteracies-related assignment]

Writers and readers of literature have a special relation with the written word. How did that relationship arise and change in the historical moments–from pre- to postmodernity–when “text” arose, or was redefined, in relation to new technologies that reconfigured the whole ecology of media and communications? This course will study “new media texts” (texts and reading practices responsive to new media ecologies) with attention both to larger cultural/theoretical issues and a succession of specific case studies from the Early Modern to contemporary periods. Text+ (more…)