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Syllabus:  The Contemporary Performing Narrative in an Age of Facebook

About the class

This informal class will consist of three readings and a short lecture, followed by group discussion (based on a list of suggested questions if desired). 


When you refresh your Facebook newsfeed, the computer screen goes blank.  After a blank blink or two , a different newsfeed pops up to replace its predecessor.  For my own convenience, I would like to think that the blank screen represents a time when the status updates are freed from our panoptic screens to drift around the soft drives a little before going to rest in the digital archives with their status-update-ancestors.  As the translucent remains of narrative and performance waft around the pixels of computer atmosphere, they lose any imposed identity and exist simply as traces of a collective human story.  They are not human, animal, machine, or a cyborg hybrid of these--they are just the relics of culture and people and interaction and society and beingness.  Notwithstanding, let me point out that even in this "between" state, the stories are in circulation through language.  That is, they are in circulation through computer speak.  (I'm not a computer person, but let's pretend that this is some kind of hybrid of html, javascript, ones and zeroes, and R2-D2 sounds.)  However, now we must address an important question:  is a narrative's essence lost in this kind of translation?

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