Alex Saum-Pascual on Teaching Electronic Literature

27 Oct, 2017

Alex Saum-Pascual on Teaching Electronic Literature

Alex Saum-Pascual, Assistant Professor of Spanish at UC Berkeley and past Digital Humanities Fellow '15, published an article about teaching electronic literature as Digital Humanities. Her article was published in the Digital Humanities Quarterly in a special issue in Undergraduate Education on the Digital Humanities.

Her learnings come from the course she developed and taught at UC Berkeley in Spring 2016, cross-listed between the Spanish and Portuguese Department and the Berkeley Center of New Media.

Find her abstract below:

This essay presents an approach to teaching Digital Humanities through two largely unexplored lenses: electronic literature and foreign languages (Spanish in particular). It offers a practical example of a course taught during the Spring of 2016 at UC Berkeley that combines literary analysis with the teaching of basic programming skills, and DH tools and methods. Concretely, this course is an upper division, undergraduate writing intensive class, where students learn how to write and talk about electronic literature–e.g. hypertext novels, kinetic poetry, automatic generators, social media fictions, etc.–, learning specific terminology and theoretical frameworks, as they gain the skills to build their own digital art pieces in a collaborative workshop setting. By taking this course as a practical example, this essay tackles three important pillars in the humanities. Firstly, the overall concept of literature, and more specifically, the literary; secondly, what we understand by literary studies at the university; and thirdly, and more broadly, what constitutes cultural (beyond technical) literacy in the twenty–first century. This essay’s final claim is that teaching e-it as DH effectively address all three.

Read Saum-Pascual's full article here, and browse the entire DHQ issue here.