- I want you to analyze your choice of fiction. It can be a poem, a short story, a play, or even a novel. All that is required is that it is, in some way, a print text. You are expected to analyze it similarly to how we’ve done in the past. Some of these strategies include:
- Identifying how it utilizes any literary devices or techniques
- Considering how it seeks to represent a cultural concept or idea, operating as a time capsule
- Reflecting on its association to a specific genre or literary movement
In other words, the initial stage of your essay should summarize and break down a specific print text of choice, establishing how it can be defined as “literature.” How you do this is ultimately up to you. Afterward, however, I want you to find a non-print text, analyzing it according to the same strategies. This can be an episode of a television show, a movie, a video game, or even a tweet. The goal of this research project is to essentially bridge the motivations of literature to other mediums, identifying how (or how not) literary styles, techniques, or movements can exist in new mediums. Some ways to bridge between print and non-print texts include:
- Determining how modality, including visual and audio content, affects literature
- Thinking about how interactivity affects messaging in literature, such as comparing a video game or hypertext to a short story of similar topic or meaning
- Considering whether or not the use of additional media, such as the assistance of visuals and sound, removes the mystery/complexity common to written literature.
In sum, I don’t want you to merely compare/contrast two texts of varying mediums. I want you to develop a sophisticated thesis drawing a conclusion about the health of literature in 2018 and whether or not new media can meaningfully “carry the torch” of literature into the end of the twenty-first century and beyond. Your essay should be a minimum of 1500 words (roughly six pages double-spaced). Your essay will be graded in accordance to your depth of analysis, your originality, and your strict adherence to both grammar and MLA documentation rules. You are also expected to give a short presentation during the final week of the semester discussing what you’ve chosen to analyze to the rest of the class.
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