The Craft of Writing – Film Focus – The Digital Mundane
R1B 003 | CCN: 26036
Annie Golda Felix
Location: Dwinelle 189
Date and Time: TU, TH 11:00am - 12:29pm
Taking the personal computer user as its starting point, this course considers the ways in which digital technologies have seeped into the ordinary routines of everyday life. I’m writing here about the quotidian practice of using and living with smartphones, laptops, video game consoles – what could collectively be thought of as personal computers. These machines are no longer just tools that help us perform tasks in our everyday realities (to make phone calls, send emails, file documents etc.) – but become something like virtual extensions of our lived realities. And I’m sure you know what I mean, especially when I say that everyday life is punctuated by encounters with all our personal computers, and the virtual worlds they scaffold – they become sites for our leisure, pleasure, and labor. As a class, we will consider questions such as: What does it mean to perform the role of computer “user”? How do we (personal computer users) perform with, for, and against our digital devices, and how might the notion of performance shift our thinking about digital technology on a personal and quotidian scale?
This course fulfills the second half of the required Reading and Composition series; it imagines writing as a process of identifying and interpreting the digital media devices and objects that surround us. We will practice this interpretation, reading, and writing inside and outside the classroom, with many in-class short assignments building toward longer writing and research projects. The research skills we will build together throughout the semester will range from observing and analyzing digital phenomena in our everyday lives, to drawing theoretical insights from putting fictional and non-fictional writings (and visual media) on digital technology together.