As for method, we must discuss this right away together! I appreciate Taylor Gilbert proposing that we must divide up into teams working on design, editing, etc.
As for content, here are the suggestions as they've accumulated:
- "Reading" Literature in the Digital AgeThis is a general topic emerging from Derrick Clements suggestion that we "create an eBook about how genuinely useful literature can be–in a format that can be freely and easily distributed to anyone with a computer-like screen" and from Ashley Nelson's recommendation in her post that we might focus on "how we have consumed our literature, and how that has changed our reading of it." Perhaps we are moving toward claims about how literary criticism has become a new animal in the digital age -- or that new media for experiencing literature or artistic responses to literary readings together constitute a new variety of literary criticism today.
- Researching Literature in the Digital Age
Sam McGrath is suggesting that we "write about our own digital literary research and combine the process with writing about our literary work that we've been studying." A self-reflective project?
- The Visual and LiteratureSeveral students are being drawn to the issue of the how important visual interpretations of literature can be. Amy Whitaker's blog is increasingly focused on this topic, as applied to Where the Red Fern Grows and to the field of education. She is asking about the legitimacy of using visuals in teaching novels like that one. Similarly, Rachael Schiel's readings of Borges seem to be taking life as she explores visual responses to his writings.
- LDS Perspectives on Literature
As Aly Rutter explains, many in the class are interested in doing something that brings forward the unique LDS perspective that we have on literature. An article on Mormon literary criticism? Nyssa Silvester is starting to look at Dostoevesky's Notes from Underground in LDS terms. Taylor Gilbert, reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, is drawn to an LDS-themed approach.
- Literature reading the digital
Literature takes on new significance today not just because of its new formats, but because it provides a useful lens on understanding and dealing with the digital age. Ariel Letts has approached this topic by looking at the topic of communications within Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. This was an approached used by my students in my previous Eng 295 course that proved very useful. See, for example, Katherine Hales connecting Wordsworth and the sublime in the Internet or James connecting the topic of the "digital divide" to Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. or Allison Frost using Orwell's 1984 to read the way China is becoming Big Brother through control of the Internet, or Heather Dalton's reading of the construction of online identity by way of that topic within Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club
- Reader Response / Historical Contexts
Several students are playing with the issue of how readers of a given time, place, or race respond to literature or how . These include Annie Ostler, looking at African-American responses to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon; Aly Rutter looking for Southern responses to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird; Ashley Lewis looking at responses to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre; Ashley Nelson investigating the biographical and geographical contexts for James Joyce's Dubliners. Ben Wagner is using race to read Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
- Education and Literature
Both Amy Whitaker (with Where the Red Fern Grows) and Bri Zabriskie (Huckleberry Finn) are looking at educational applications of literature, while James Matthews is musing over Thoreau and teaching.