Spring 2021

Computing Fiction: Books in a Digital Age

Listed in: English, as ENGL-418


Amanda K. Henrichs (Section 01)


What happens to books in the digital age? How do digital books and electronic literatures draw on earlier book forms and material practices? What do books feel like when they are on the Internet? From the first printed text to the digital age and beyond, this course will consider the changing shapes, goals, and aims of books: beginning with the earliest books produced with moveable type and ending with experimental electronic literature and material bookmaking practices, we will consider the intertwined histories of reading, books, and the technologies used to make them. This course will include original research. Students will have the opportunity to design their own final project. Examples from previous semesters include: writing a program in Python; designing and creating a hand-printed book; and developing an interactive narrative story.

No previous experience with computers or programming is expected or required. We will make virtual visits to the Frost Library Special Collections.

One class session per week will be held synchronously; other activities will be completed asynchronously.

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Henrichs.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to senior English majors or Five College New Media Concentrations.


Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Online Only


2020-21: Offered in Spring 2021