Digital Texts (September 6)


Chapter 3, “The Book as Idea” , and Chapter 4, “The Book as Interface” in
The Book, by Amaranth Borsuk 

Blog prompt:
Select  a quote or two from the reading that stimulates your thinking about the future of digital books and publishing. Using the quote(s) as the start of a blog post (use blockquotes), discuss some of your ideas about digital publishing and what it could become.

* Remember to complete the blog post from last week


Class Notes:

*DTC Superpower Survey

At the start of class, I will send 10-12 students over to the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL), which is on the 2nd floor of VMMC, above room 111. Dene Grigar and or Richard Spencer will present the forms of digital publication up until the word wide web. After 20-25 minutes, the other half of the class will go to ELL. In the classroom, while other are at ELL, I will be giving a slide-talk and we will discuss the transition from writing as physical to writing as digital code.

  1. ELL visit – Eastgate and Voyager packaging, thingness
  2. qualities of book (codex) that lasts
  3. qualities of digital text, “affordances”, favorite kinds of digital experiences 
  4. negative qualities digital text compared to printed books
  5. explore different types of digital texts: videos, podcasts, livestreams, epub, pdf, pod, websites, apps, 
  6. Digitization of all books – Google Book Project, The Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg – public domain vs. copyright (drm)
  7. art publishing and publishing as art
  8. academic publishing
  9. information and learning?
  10. fiction and world-building?
  11. The future of books and publishing?

Brainstorm Projects:
Digital Publishing Initiative
The Digital Book – class final project

Gutenberg Project
Terms of Use
Reusing Gutenberg Texts
Public DomainCreative Commons, Fair Use

Form groups
Discuss – make ToDo list and assign to each

DUE: Tuesday September 20th
1500-3000 words + media

Drawing on the reading about the book’s evolution (from cuneiform to touch-screen tablet) and with your current way of making/reading/watching/playing digital technology, what do you imagine a “digital” book will be in 20-30 years? This question requires you to look toward what you want from immersive experiences for learning, playing and imagining.

This is to be a speculative, maybe even fictional, mini-essay. Write as if you are living in the future and comparing the digital book experience of that future to your experience now and to the book as non-digital material object in the distant past.

  • the mini-essay is to be at least 1500 words, and no more that 3,000 words.
  • use images, diagrams, sketches to support your idea
  • the future does not necessarily exclude the analog!
  • quote from “The Book”
  • discuss what the experience of future authors and readers will be like, but also address the technological production of books. who will publish these texts?




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