In this course we will learn about the fascinating genres of hypertext fiction and poetry—creative texts that are designed and composed specifically for the web. We will read important theory on hypertext and electronic literature—theory that will help us see how hypertext fiction and poetry challenge our print-based understanding of plot, narrative, grammar, rhetoric, and so forth. The course is going to ask us to read and think in new ways and to consider how medium effects structure and comprehension.
We will also be composing our own hypertext pieces—specifically, one short piece of hypertext fiction or one poem (or series of short poems). These pieces are to be original to the course, not work that you have written elsewhere that you wish to adapt to the hypertext landscape. We will also read some articles on composing hypertext work.
Creative hypertext is just one small genre in what has become an ever-expanding collection of work that has been grouped under the heading: Electronic Literature. Because much of this work is based in Flash, we will not have time to compose our own here. However, each of us will present one piece of Electronic Literature collected in the Electronic Literature Collection (Volume I).