Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

We would like to thank Simon Fraser University and the Office of Research Services for providing financial support for this project in the form of a University Publications Fund Grant and a President’s Research Start-Up Grant...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxxi

This book is a response to two changes in humanities education since the 1980s: on the one hand, there has been an explosion of popular, paraliterary, and digital cultural forms, which have an increasing grip on our students...

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1. Roll a D20 and the Author Dies

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pp. 1-14

Some years ago a friend of mine would drive downtown every Sunday afternoon to play Dungeons and Dragons. The “dungeonmaster,” the person running the game, was a professor of literature at a prestigious university. All the other players...

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2. Consider the Source: Critical Considerations of the Medium of Social Media

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pp. 15-42

In 2009 Iran blocked its citizens’ access to Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to quell social discord about its federal election. A Ryerson student was threatened in 2008 with suspension for cheating because of setting up a study group...

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3. Voice of the Gutter: Comics in the Academy

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pp. 43-68

Are comics “literature”? Should they be taught in our classrooms, and if so, how? What literary functions might they fulfill? What can we...

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4. Television: The Extraliterary Device

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pp. 69-96

Literary studies’ extension from the study of printed texts into the study of screen culture is consistent with literary studies’ analysis of how dramatic texts become theatrical events. The stakes for literary studies to consider screen culture as part of the extraliterary...

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5. Hypertext in the Attic: The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Writing

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pp. 97-125

In a recent expedition through my attic I stumbled (literally) upon my old Macintosh Classic computer. Curious and in dire need of some extended procrastination, I hauled the squat cube out of its box, set it on my desk, and plugged...

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6. The ABCs of Viewing: Material Poetics and the Literary Screen

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pp. 126-154

To date, relatively few analyses of the screen as an aesthetic form in its own right have been produced. Critiques of web design and interface usability maintain strong historical attachments to print and typographic...

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7. “Let the Rhythm Hit ’Em”: Hip-Hop, Prosody, and Meaning

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pp. 155-181

Hip-hop emerged in the South Bronx during the mid-1970s, the confluence of individual ingenuity (Grandmaster Flash developing his Quick Mix theory), diasporic flow from the Caribbean (DJ Kool Herc’s sound system, dance-hall toasting), African American...

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8. Thinking Inside the Box: A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of Television Studies

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pp. 182-213

There is a widespread sense that popular media are consumed by people with inadequate education and no ideas of their own: “the young, the ignorant, and the idle.” Social conservatives argue for the “danger” of media that engage...

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9. Middlebrow Lit and the End of Postmodernism

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pp. 214-240

The death by suicide of American novelist David Foster Wallace in the fall of 2008 had a resonance that went beyond the eerie similarity between his great theme of sadness and the crippling depression from which he suffered...

Contributors

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pp. 241-243

Index

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pp. 245-251