I wrote and spoke a lot in the fall semester about the shift we are seeing in literacy today from a focus on consumption (as in reading) to a focus on production (as in writing). This shift has never been clearer to me than it was last term, when I offered students in my graduate seminar an opportunity to do something other than the traditional analysis of a literary or nonliterary text. Not that we didn’t look at plenty of such texts: we did, from works like David Shields’s Reality Hunger or Alan Liu’s The Law of Cool, to Mark Danielewski’s labyrinthine House of Leaves. But when I gave students a chance to do something other than a close reading, they jumped at it: they wanted to do something different and more productive, they said, a project that let them work with the texts in (to them) new ways.
Via Buffy J. Hamilton