Senior Seminar: Post-Print Fictions:
Storytelling in Computational, Informatic & Algorithmic Modes

Professor Jamie Skye Bianco

Spring 2010, University of Pittsburgh

Mondays, 6-8:30PM, 512 CL

ENGLIT 1910 (#11530)

Office Hours, Mondays 4:30-5:30

Office Location: 1502a CL (enter through 1501)

Course Description
Course Schedule
Course Blog: Sourcing Post-Print Fictions
Course Wiki: Post-Print Fictions
Course Expectations
Student Websites
Students Home
Spikenlilli Home


Post-Print Fictions: Storytelling in Computational, Informatic & Algorithmic Modes

Digital technologies have made new forms of literary production possible such as hypertext and flash poetries, which rely on software computation, informatics and algorithms. However, long before we were writing with computers, writers have experimented with computation, informatics and algorithms in print texts, testing the limits of language and meaning. Writing under contraint or writing with language rules is one such mode. This course will explore both: print and digital fictions that rely on a mathematicization of language and storytelling. Print works may include selections from Borges, Cortazar, Sapporta, OULIPO, Pynchon, Plant, Coupland, Danielewski, Plascencia and Jackson. Digital texts may include hypertext, flash, and network fictions, multimediated narrative, videogames, webisodic video series, transmedia, and microblogged serial writing.

Students are encouraged to contact Prof. Jamie Skye Bianco in advance of the course regarding software requirements (see below under required materials) and to consult her website at

this course is the capstone of your studies in the english major. it will operate at the level of a basic graduate-level study course. the workload is extremely heavy and expectations for your productivity are very high.


Attend ALL classes and arrive on time.

Complete all assignments as assigned and on time. Assignments described in the schedule.

Meet Prof. Bianco as requested and as scheduled for your mid-term evaluation.

Present your final Project Portfolio as scheduled. You may NOT miss the Final Presentation, so do not schedule a departure from campus prior to our Final class.

More on expectations, grading, and the quality of your coursework...


weekly entries on the class post-print sourcing Blog

weekly reading reviews & response assignments

reading presentation: written and oral

technical tutorials

course notes assignment

readings: print & digital

creative critical midterm Composition

creative critical final project

Integrated Final Project, Portfolio & presentation


Borges, Jorges, Luis. Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings. new directions. ISBN #978-0811216999

cortazar, julio. hopscotch. pantheon. isbn #0-394-75284-8

coupland, douglass. generation x: tales for an accelerated culture. st. martin's. isbn #0-312-05436-x

danielewski, mark z. house of leaves. pantheon. isbn #978-0375703768

plascencia, salvador. people of paper. harcourt. isbn #978-0-15-603211


Adobe Creative Suite 4 web Collection
*Available to students from CSSD (105 Bellefield Hall) at a seriously discounted price.
*This collection provides the web development software in the Adobe creative Suite 4.
*There are limited work-around alternatives, including use of the Pitt Campus Computing Labs.
*I guarantee you we will use the following Adobe applications (though others may be used depending on our progress): Photoshop, DreamWeaver, Bridge, Soundbooth*, Media Encoder, & Media Player.
***Please Note: if you use any other software for this course, you are on your own for tech & tutorial support. This software is the required text for this course.***

domain and website host
*while Pitt offers students free domains and hosting service, this service is extremely limited.
*I recommend to most studets that you invest in your own domain and private hosting service. we will discuss this in class.

Memory Stick/Portable External Drive
*You will need a minimum of 8G of memory.
*This memory key will be used exclusively for this class.

Regular Access to Digital Camera
*Camera needs to have the capacity to shoot short video clips.
*Cell phones are fine, but may provide lower quality imaging.
*Make sure that whatever camera you use (especially if you borrow a videocamera) that you have the software to access the image files *and download them to your computer or memory key.

access to a microphone or sound recording instrument
*While most computers have a built-in microphone , experience has proven that this is not sufficient for different types of recording situations.
*cell phones can be used but will produce a bad, tinny quality.
*radio shack sells a very cheap clip-on mic that works well (if you purchase any mic, make sure it is compatible with your computer.

*ask me about the ear bud trick.


Pitt Policy on Academic Integrity ... keep in mind what was discussed regarding intellectual property in Molly's lecture on the first day of class.


The Writing Center

M-2 Thaw Hall

Academic Resource Center

G-1 Gardner Steel Conference Center

Disability Resources & Services

216 William Pitt Union


Counseling Center

334 William Pitt Union

Sexual Assault Services

Call Safety ASAP at 412.624.2121