A few of my English department colleagues and myself are preparing to propose a new Electronic Literature course, to replace a more vaguely named “Textual Media” class in the university course catalog. Here is an incredibly first draft version of the course description, building in part on language from the Electronic Literature Organization’s own description of electronic literature:
Electronic Literature (3 credits) In this course we will read and analyze electronic literature, expressive texts that are born digital and can only be read, interacted with, or otherwise experienced in a digital environment. Contemporary writers, artists, and designers are producing a wide range of electronic literature, including hypertext fiction, kinetic poetry, interactive fiction, computer-generated texts, digital mapping, and online collaborative writing projects. In all of these cases, electronic literature takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts of stand-alone or networked computers. Such literary texts often demand new reading and interpretative practices, as well as the development of a procedural literacy, which will be a primary goal of the class.
I’m eager to hear any feedback about this purposefully generic description. If you truly want to get involved, I set up a PBWorks wiki for the course description, where we can comment and revise away till the fourth horseman cometh (or until the proposal is due in front of the curriculum committee). You simply need to register for a free PB Works account to edit the wiki.