Below is a list of readings I would like to use to structure our seminar.

Given the various time commitments we all have, I know that, despite best intentions, it is not always possible to do all the readings before a seminar. At the same time, our seminar will be infinitely more enriching if participants can devote some time to reading preparation.

In order to make it easier for everyone to do a least some reading, I have indicated readings that are considered focused readings and those that are recommended or highly recommended. Please prioritize focused readings over recommended readings.

Additionally, for focused readings, I’ve also try to indicate even smaller page ranges which constitute the core of what I would like to focus on during our time together. Obviously, the contents within these pages ranges will be more rewarding if one can read them in the context of the entire text. But if one is pressed for time, concentrating attention on these pages ranges will allow us to come together with some common understanding of the issues at play and will hopefully enable a rewarding discussion.

Each reading below has a file reference. During the course of the seminar, files corresponding to these references will be available here. If possible, I recommend printing the focused readings out, so that during the seminar we can draw our attention toward each other and away from our screens.


  1. Marshal Mcluhan, “The Medium is the Message” in Understanding Media, pp. 7-21 file 01-01
    • Focused: p. 11, p. 18
  2. Nicholas Carr, “Introduction” in The Shallows, pp. 1-4 file 01-02
    • Focused: all
  3. Karl Marx, “[4. The Essence of the Materialist Conception of History. Social Being and Social Consciousness]” in German Ideology, pdf pp. 1-2 file 01-04
    • Recommended: all
  4. Karl Marx, “Ruling Ideas” in German Ideology, pdf pp. 1-3 file 01-05
    • Recommended: all
  5. Plato, The Phaedrus, pdf pp. 1-36 file 01-03
    • Focused: pp. 12-18 (speech in praise of the lover), pp. 28-30 (criteria of true rhetoric), pp. 32-36 (in defense of speech over the written word)


  1. Walter Ong, “Orality of Language”, Orality and Literacy, pp. 5-15 file 02-01
    • Recommended
  2. Walter Ong, “Writing Restructures Consciousness”, Orality and Literacy, pp. 78-116 file 02-02
    • Focused: pp. 78-96, 101-103
  3. Nicholas Carr, “Tools of the Mind (C. 3)”, The Shallows, pp. 39-57 file 02-03
    • Recommended
  4. Walter Ong, “Print, Space, Closure” pp.117-138 file 02-04
    • Focused: pp. 119-121
  5. Nicholas Carr, “The Deepening Page(C. 4)”, The Shallows, pp. 58-77 file 02-05
    • Focused: pp. 61-63
  6. Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, “Materiality”, in The Broadview Introduction to Book History, pp. 3-27 file 02-06
    • Recommended


  1. James Gleick, “Information Theory”, The Information, Chapter 7, pp. 204-232 file 03-01
    • Focused: pp. 221-232
  2. Sriram Vajapeyam, “Understanding Shannons’s Entropy metric for Information”, pdf pp. 1-6 file 03-01a
    • Focused: all
  3. Vannevar Bush, “As we may think”, The Atlantic, pdf pp. 1-21 file 03-02
    • Focused: all
  4. Ted Nelson, “Hyperworld” in Chapter 0, Literary Machines, pp. 0/1-13 file 03-03
    • Highly Recommended
  5. Ted Nelson, “Hypertext” in Chapter 1, Literary Machines, pp. 1/14-19 file 03-03
    • Focused: all
  6. Ted Nelson, “2.1 An Electronic Literary System” in Chapter 2, Literary Machines, pp. 2/4-8 file 03-03
    • Highly Recommended
  7. Ted Nelson, “2.2 What is Literature?” in Chapter 2, Literary Machines, pp. 2/9-12 file 03-03
    • Highly Recommended
  8. Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author”, p. 142-148 file 03-04
    • Recommended: esp. 146-148


  1. Sahle, Patrick. “Zwischen Mediengebundenheit Und Transmedialisierung.” Editio 24 (2010): 23–36 file 04-01, Working/Rough Translation file 04-01a
    • Focused: all
  2. De Rose, et al. “What is a Text Really”, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 1 (2), 1990, pp. 3-26 file 04-02
    • Focused: pp. 1-6
  3. “The concept of a work in World Cat: An application of Frbr”, pdf pp. 7-32 file 04-03
    • Focused: pp. 3-8
  4. Wikipedia, “Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records” file 04-04 or
    • Focused: all


  1. Nicholas Carr, “The Very Image of a Book (C. 6)”, The Shallows, pp. 99-114 file 05-01
    • Focused: all
  2. Nicholas Carr, “The Juggler’s Brain (C. 7)”, The Shallows, pp. 115-143 file 05-02
    • Focused: all
  3. Sven Birkerts, “Into the Electronic Millennium”, Gutenberg Elegies, pp. 117-133 file 05-03
    • Recommended
  4. Sven Birkerts, “Perseus Unbound”, Gutenberg Elegies, pp. 134-140 file 05-03
    • Recommended
  5. Sven Birkerts, “Hypertext: Of Mouse and Man”, Gutenberg Elegies, pp. 151-164 file 05-03
    • Recommended