Course Assignment & Description – “The Impact of Lack of Choice in ‘my father’s long, long legs'” (8.1)

Theory Application Project

Overall Task
Put forward an original argument about the role of agency when engaging with electronic literature. Present this argument (using text and images) in the form of an Adobe Spark site.

Assignment
When studying electronic literature, we will discuss what it means to interact with texts and whether a reader/viewer/player has agency. Dene Grigar defines agency in this context as “the degree of freedom and choice a user has” (30). For this project, you will pick a single work of electronic literature (which includes video games) and make an argument about your agency when interacting with the text. You will want to apply media-specific analysis to the text to make your argument. Questions you might consider:

  1. What options do you have and choices do you make when interacting with this text?
  2. How much do your choices impact the trajectory or narrative of the text (for example, can you change the ending)?
  3. How does the text’s aesthetic (what it looks like, what it resembles) shape your understanding of your agency?
  4. How does the text’s technical elements (what platform it is built in) shape your understanding of your agency?

While this final project will be shaped by your focus, it should meet a few specific requirements. You must have a clearly stated argument, indicate the importance of your particular point of view, and contextualize your argument within a larger scholarly conversation. You will very likely want to draw on Grigar, Hayles, or other theorists we read who will help you define agency and explain how you’re analyzing your text.

Format
You will convey your argument in the form of an Adobe Spark site (https://spark.adobe.com/). You will need to include screenshots of your chosen text and you will analyze those screenshots to support your argument. The written portion should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words.

Criteria
I will expect that your Adobe Spark site essay will contain the following:

  • a thesis statement that is clear, original, and argumentative,
  • relevant evidence used to support your thesis–this must include textual examples from your chosen text, including screenshots,
  • developed and sustained analysis of the evidence you offer in support of your thesis,
    logical organization,
  • clear knowledge of the text(s) you choose and of any secondary material you include, and
  • accurate formatting (such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) for any citations you use.

Please feel free to meet with me (early and often) as you develop your argument and begin thinking about how to support that argument.