E642 – Writing Hypertext

Credit Hours:

Course Level:

Semesters Offered:
Fall Spring

Description:  This graduate writing workshop focuses on the possibilities, potentials, and constraints faced by writers willing to take on the challenges of writing hypertext. Hypertext, Ted Nelson’s accepted term for linked electronic texts, encompasses a wide range of electronic texts, ranging from simple World Wide Web sites to online help systems to Hypercard stacks to interactive novels such as Michael Joyce’s Afternoon. In this course, students will propose and develop hypertext documents for presentation on the Web.

The course will begin with an overview of hypertext theory (e.g., Bush, Charey, DeWitt, Johnson-Eilola, Joyce, Kaplan, Landow, Moulthrop, Nielsen) and practice (e.g., Ayers, Gossling, Joyce, and Kaplan). As is the case in other graduate writing workshops offered by the English Department, the majority of the course will be devoted to workshops in which students read and critique works created by their classmates. To support discussion of works beyond the classroom, the course will make extensive use of electronic communication tools, including threaded discussion groups, interactive chat, and a course Web site.

In E642, in addition to issues related to the production of hypertexts, students will explore the multiple rhetorical constraints unique to writing hypertext, including, but not limited to: