Augmenting Realities: Technoscience, Digital Art, & Electronic Literature

Duke University ♦ Fall 2013 ♦ Lit 80 ♦ Amanda Starling Gould

Twitter: @stargould #augrealities, Web: Augmenting Realities

Course Schedule

Week 1: How We Think

Aug 28: Introduction & Presentation of Class Texts, Assignments, and Website.

→Start Reading Neuromancer. We will be discussing the book starting next week.

→Start thinking (yes, already) about your final project’s topic and media element(s).

Aug 30: How We Think, Hayles, 2013

Read Chapter 1, Chapter 2 (stop at p43), Chapter 3 (just p72-83) – all on Sakai

1) Look through the digital resources on Hayles’s How We Think bookpage
2) “How We Think: The Transforming Power of Digital Technologies” Hayles Lecture Audio:

Weekly Blog: Set up only for this week: Login, look around, familiarize yourself with the system. Change your name if you’d prefer to use a pseudonym. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE to let me know what your chosen name will be if you select an anonymous moniker.

Week 2: Augmenting How We Think: Using Neuromancer’s cyberspace as a tool to think with…

Sept 4: Neuromancer, Gibson, 1984

Try to finish the novel by today
Full text online:
Audio mp3s of Gibson reading his text – you can also find these on YouTube

Sept 6: Neuromancer, Cyberspace, & Data-bodies, Body as data, DNA as data storage

Finish the novel if you’ve not already
Read the short piece “There is Only Cyberspace”
Read “Book written in DNA code”
Read & Watch the short video clip: We’ll be uploading our entire MINDS to computers by 2045 and our bodies will be replaced by machines within 90 years, Google expert claims

1) Skim: “William Gibson, The Art of Fiction No. 211”
2) Read: “How To Kill Digital Dualism Without Erasing Differences”
3) Follow William Gibson on Twitter:  @greatdismal
4) Read: Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, 1991

Weekly Blog: Novel Response

Week 3: Augmenting (Humanities) Scholarship

Sept 11: Digital Humanities: texts, theories, types, and tools

Read “How a Prototype Argues”, Galey & Ruecker, 2010
Watch What we learned from 5 million books (A TED video)
Explore & Experiment with at least two of the following tools (feel free to try them all!). Come to class prepared to tell us (and show us) about your experiments.

 Tools to explore:

1) Ngram Viewer
2) Voyant Tools
3) ManyEyes
4) TAPoR Tools
5) Timeglider
6) The Versioning Machine
7) Juxta
8) Wordle
9) Antconc
10) Animaps for Google Maps

Might we use this tool? New MIT Media Lab Tool Lets Anyone Visualize Unwieldy Government Data

Begin Partnered #dh Project Critique: (Note: This assignment is a mash-up modeled after Brian Croxall and Ryan Cordell’s Collaborative Digital Humanities Evaluation Project and Shannon Mattern’s criteria for evaluating Multimodal Student Work.) Specific details can be found here on the Partnered #dh Project Critique Page.

Sept 13: #dh Project Critique

In-class Collaborative Assignment: Present your projects & critques.
Review Assessment, Citation, and Copyright rules for digital humanities projects.
Construct an Assessment Sheet for our A_R course final project: Add your comments to our Evaluating Digital Humanities Projects: Collaborative Course Assessment.

Weekly Blog: Post your Partnered #dh Project Critique by 1:00 on Monday the 16th. Make sure all authors’ names appear on the blog post. Try to integrate media into your post, adding any links, images, video and/or interactive features relevant to your chosen project(s) and/or your critique. REMEMBER to cite all sources and be sure to tag your post. Note: While in blogging mode, return to your first post and add tags if you’ve not yet done so.

Week 4: Augmenting Reading: Collaborative Reading of Who Owns the Future?

Sept 18: Who Owns the Future?, Lanier, 2013 Discussion & Informal Presentations

Read Chapter 1 – full text on Sakai
Read your assigned chapter(s), prepare your Shared Reading Notes (see assignment description on our assignments page) and be prepared to present your chapter.

Informal in-class Presentation: Teach your chapter to the class: Tell us about the chapter you’ve read, covering at the very least the notes you’ve written for your Shared Reading Notes for Collaborative Text Reading. Each student will have 10-15 minutes max, including time for questions.

Sept 20: Finish Lanier Presentations & Discuss Critical Terms Introduction

Skim “Yes, You Can Monetize Your Own Social Data–Here’s How”
Skim Investors Including Horowitz Back Cryptocurrency Startup OpenCoin

Watch: The Insanity Of Bitcoin, Explained

1) Read: A New Underclass: The People Who Big Data Leaves Behind
2) Read: Commodify Us: Our Data Our Terms

Weekly Blog: No Blog. Post Reading Notes to Collaborative Google Doc. Don’t forget to add a comment or critique to our Evaluating Digital Humanities Projects: Collaborative Course Assessment. Start exploring the games for next week.

Week 5: Gaming Reality

Sept 25: Gamer Theory, Wark, 2007

Read Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Parts #223-#225. READ the notes as well.
Read “Clive Thompson on the Future of Reading in a Digital World”
Explore GAM3R 7H3ORY 1.1 and Gamer Theory 2.0

Optional: Follow or Tweet to @mckenziewark

Sept 27: Gamer Theory + Games

Read “Interactivity or Interpassivity”, Wilson, 2009
Read Bogost How To Do Things With Videogames, Intro (p1-8) – on Sakai
Try at least two of the games listed below (feel free to try them all!). Come to class prepared to tell us about them.

Games to choose from:

1) The Company of Myself¹
2) Portal
3) Black & White
4) Flow
5) Cloud
6) Braid²
7) Passage
8) Storyteller (Playable Prototype) & Forthcoming game
9) Journey
10) Parallax³

¹This can also be played online for free via other sites.
²This site requires payment, but try to Google for a free copy.
³This game is still a prototype…but check out the trailer on this site.

Check this out: Videogames as Art: See How Beautiful Video Game Worlds Are, Minus The Game Part

VR gaming at home:

Maybe also try some ‘games considered for meaning and significance’ at

Weekly Blog: Game(r) Critique due posted to the blog by 1:00 pm on Monday the 30th. For specific blog details, review the Assignments page.

Week 6: Augmenting/Augmented by Data

Oct 2: Distant Reading & Making Literary Data (into) Art

Read the following articles. Then choose three of the following projects to explore. Come to class prepared to discuss those projects you chose.

To Read (Required)

1) Literature is Not Data & In Defense of Data – 2 Responses to Marche
2) About Moretti’s Distant Reading & Jockers’ Literary Macroanalysis
3) We’re on the cusp of deep learning for the masses. You can thank Google later

Projects (Choose at least 3)

1) Understanding Shakespeare
2) Infographic: Every Scene In The Great Gatsby
3) Writing Without Words: Visualizing On The Road – See especially Literary Organism, Sentence Drawings & Sentence Length
4) Interactive Google Maps of the roadtrip(s) in Danielewski’s Only Revolutions and other text analysis features of the text created as companions to Hayles’s How We Think
5) Mapping Cloud Atlas
6) Text Analysis + Social Media + Social Science: Temporal Patterns of Happiness and Information in a Global Social Network: Hedonometrics and Twitter
7) Text analysis reveals source of pseudonymous authorship: How Forensic Linguistics Revealed J. K. Rowling’s Secret
8) Text analysis explores historical social & psychological trends: The Expression of Emotions in 20th Century Books

Oct. 4: Big Data, Literary Data

Watch Viktor Mayer-Schonberger & Kenneth Cukier Video Big Data:  A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, 2013. Come up with two questions for the presenters: If you were in the audience, what would you ask Mayer-Schonberger & Cukier? (You can be bold…they aren’t really here. Feel free to critique their ideas & projections if you have objections or doubts.)

1) If you’d like to read/skim the book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, 2013, the chapters 1, 5, 6, and 10 are the most pertinent to our discussion.

Weekly Blog: Is literature data? Is distant reading a valuable exercise? How do the projects above ‘augment’ scholarship? Do they augment reality?

Week 7: Augmenting Reality Backwards: Gaming the Future-Past

Oct 9: The Difference Engine, Gibson & Sterling, 1990

Read at least up to page 246
Read “Ada” by Sadie Plant

Check out the Difference Dictionary!

Oct 11: The Difference Engine Cont’d

Finish the novel & read the afterword
Explore The Babbage Engine site

Weekly Blog: Novel Response due Monday the 14th by 1:00pm.

Week 8: Augmenting Network(ed) Scholarship

Oct 16: Network_Ecologies & Media Archaeology

Read Chapter 1, Introduction: An Archaeology of Media Archaeology from Media Archaeology (2011) Jussi Parikka & Erkki Huhtamo, eds. Click on the Read An Excerpt, Read Chapter 1 for the full text.

Read: Parikka just published an essay in The Atlantic called “The Geology of Media”. Read this too.

Prepare several questions that we can ask the author when we meet him on Friday.

Oct 18: Class at FHI – Symposium Day! Class will meet in the Skylight Lounge, Bay 11 Smith Warehouse (upstairs)

Today you will have an exclusive, private session with the professional scholars, including Jussi Parikka who you’ve just read, who are flying in for the Symposium. The questions you have prepared will lead our discussion with the scholars.

Weekly Blog: Media Arch Chat Response Blog: After our Media Archaeology Chat on Friday, I’d like you to write a short blog (the same length as your typical Novel Response posts) with your thoughts and reflections about our Media Arch Chat. What questions and/or ideas did the Chat provoke? What do you think about Media Arch as a literary-cultural method? How does Media Arch fit into our Augmenting Realities program? Blogs will be due Tuesday by 1:00pm.

Week 9: Matrixed & Hybrid Realities, Hybrid Reading

Oct 23: The Matrix & Animatrix

If you have not yet seen The Matrix, please watch it before coming to class on Wednesday the 23rd. In class, we’ll explore and discuss animated graphic remediations of the film.

Oct 25: Daytripper, Ba & Moon

Read the graphic novel Daytripper.

→ Check out the Chicago School of Media Theory’s entry on the Graphic Novel if you have time.

Optional (but highly recommended)
1) Read/Skim: Interview with Ba & Moon about Daytripper
2) Read/Skim: Review by tech writer and BoingBoing editor Cory Doctorow

Weekly Blog: For your Graphic Novel Response blog this week, you’ll be digitally annotating pages from the graphic novel Daytripper as supplementary ‘media elements’ to ‘augment’ your blog post. See assignment page here. Use at least four images – or two full spreads – in your blog and be sure to explain your annotations if explanation is necessary.

**Start Looking Ahead: You have final project abstracts due Nov 8 and drafts of final projects due on Dec 1!**

Week 10: Electronic Literature as Augmented Literature

Oct 30: Electronic Literature

Read pages 1-30 of Electronic Literature: New Horizons For the Literary, Hayles, 2008  – on Sakai
Read A Bibliographic Overview of Electronic Literature, Gould, 2012
Explore your assigned E-Lit pieces. Be prepared to present them to the class. We will begin E-Lit Critique presentations today.

E-lit Critique Presentation: Present your e-lit pieces to the class. Tell us why you like it or dislike it. Point out the ‘literary’ elements. Use our theoretical pieces, the Bibliographic Overview and Hayles’s Electronic Literature as resources for ‘theorizing’ what the piece does or means or attempts to do or mean. And/or explore what and how it contributes to the e-lit conversation and to the contemporary literary canon. How does e-lit augment the reading experience?

Nov 1: E-lit Critique

We will continue our E-lit Critique Presentations today.


Weekly Blog: E-lit Critique, [Note Extended Deadline] due Monday at 1:00: See our Assignments page for specs.

Week 11: Augmented Reality (in) Art

Nov 6: AR Art & Literature

Read Vinge Chapter 4 from the novel Rainbows End, 2006.  How does this compare to Neuromancer’s Cyberspace?
AR Books: Electrolibrary, Between Page and Screen, & HideOut

Nov 8: Final #dh Project Check-Ins

Each student will give a Brief Presentation of his/her Abstract and any prototypes or sketches or progress up to this point.

Weekly Blog: Post your #dh Final Project proposal & abstract on the blog. Think about submitting your proposal and abstract to the Re:Humanities Undergraduate Conference.

Week 12: Augmenting Reality, Realistically

Nov 13: Ebocloud, Moss, 2010 (or 2013 by Aqueous Books)

Read through chapter 16, part 2.

1) Interview with Rick Moss about Ebocloud
2) Review of 2011 edition: Ebocloud, A Novel About The Social Singularity

EXCITING UPDATE…TWEETING WITH THE AUTHOR!: Ebocloud author Rick Moss has agreed to join our Ebocloud conversation by engaging our questions and comments via Twitter @RickMoss and via email (ask me for the details). During class, we can tweet him our questions – remember to use #augrealities and his handle @rickmoss in your tweet – and if questions remain, we can email him. 

Nov 15: Ebocloud & Ebocloud Realities

Finish the novel

Read: Dialog: Author Rick Moss and Michael Anissimov on the “Social Singularity”

Choose at least 4 (but feel free to read all!) of these short articles to skim:

1) Temporary tattoos could make electronic telepathy & telekinesis possible & Stamp-On Circuits Could Put Your Phone On Your Finger & Google patenting an electronic ‘throat tattoo’*
2) Prepare For The Coordination Economy, Where Your House Builds Itself
3) How Much Longer Until Humanity Becomes A Hive Mind?
4) MIT Researcher: 6 Ways Technology Will Make Us Immortal, Telepathic & More
5) This Mind-Controlled 3-D Printer Generates Creatures From Kid’s Brainwaves
6) Are downloadable memories just round the corner?
7) The Future Of Technology Isn’t Mobile, It’s Contextual
8) A chip that turns your body into a battery

*Thanks to Shane for finding this just-published Google throat tattoo article!

Again today, TWEETING WITH THE AUTHOR! we can take advantage of Ebocloud author Rick Moss’s generosity and include him in our conversation by sending him our questions and comments via Twitter @RickMoss and via email (ask me for the details). During class, we can tweet him our questions – remember to use #augrealities and his handle @rickmoss in your tweet – and if questions remain, we can email him. 

Weekly Blog: Novel Response

Week 13 Augmenting Reality via Apps and Mobile/Locative Technologies

Nov 20: AR app / Google Glass Challenge

Read Apps That Present Highlights of the World in Front of You
Read 7 Ways Augmented Reality Will Improve your Life
Read/Watch: On the Google Glass website, watch How it Feels & read What it Does
Watch The Future of Augmented Reality
Watch AR Locative Street Gaming & Google Glass game Swarm!
Watch Microsoft’s Vision of 2020
Watch Sight

Check out levelHead by Julian Oliver

Check out some of these videos Invisibility 3D — Mind Bending Augmented Reality app  & MIT Smarter Objects Augmented Reality User Interface  & SpaceGlasses: The future of augmented reality? & Top 5 Augmented Reality Apps & An Artist Envisions, And Perhaps Shapes, Our Augmented, Branded Future Reality & How Google Glass Could Revolutionize The Music Industry & IBM augmented reality shopping app

Nov 22: #dh Project Peer Critiques

In-class assignment: You will be presenting your final project specs, arguments, prototypes, and justifications to at least one other classmate. You will complete a peer-review response sheet for each project presented to you. Think of this as a twist on the typical ‘peer edit’ writing exercise. Each of you will leave with at least one set of peer feedback responses that you can use as you prepare your project drafts (due December 1).

Weekly Blog: No Blog.  Keep working on your final project drafts. Drafts of final projects due Dec 1.

Week 14: Thanksgiving Break. No Class

Food for thought for Thanksgiving & Hanukkah: What do you think of this? The internet mystery that has the world baffled. Our Gamer Theory author McKenzie Wark posted this today (11.26.2013) with the note “The world is just a giant William Gibson novel at this point.” Do you agree?

And how do we feel about about typographically writing images? Type Your Own Animated Movie With This Crazy Software

And for dessert: Is the Mysterious New Free App “Curiosity” the Internet’s Most Popular Social Art Project?

**Drafts of Final Project Due By December 1**  Submit your drafts by midnight Dec. 1 by sharing your drafts with me in your Google ePortfolio.

Week 15: Class Project Presentations

Dec 4: AI chat with Dr. Nicolas Brodu & Webjournal collaborative in-class workshop. BRING LAPTOPS.

Dec 6: Project Presentations & Final Peer Critique

For your presentations, you will be limited to 1 slide and 6 minutes. Good luck!

Weekly Blog: Post your project notes and presentation slide. If you’d like to record the presentation you give in class this week, feel free to post the video and/or audio of your presentation alongside your notes and slides.

Week 16: Finals (No class meetings these days)

Dec 11: Undergraduate Reading Day

Dec 13: Finals DUE by 5pm! NO EXTENSIONS, LATE PROJECTs will be penalized.