Statement of Purpose
This course is designed to introduce students to both the field of American Studies and the use of
computing technology in the location, acquisition, analysis, and presentation of materials relating
to American culture.
The format of this course should, in some ways, seem usual and familiar: we will meet three
times a week in Pavilion VIII, you will be asked to do a significant amount of reading and
writing, and there will be something like a final examination. At the same time, I hope that, in
many ways, it seems quite unlike any course you've had before.
- 1) Although we will meet together regularly, we are also going to construct a virtual
classroom. Each student will create their own HomePage on the World Wide Web from a toolkit. Each HomePage will be the place where student projects are
presented and all HomePages will be linked together to form a Virtual
- 2) The reading for the course includes some texts in the usual sense of the term,
printed texts/books/articles that will be available in Clemons Library (R) or (C). But some
texts are also available in The Digital Reserve Book
Room(D) which is accessible from this syllabus.
- 3) Much of the work in the course is task-based: e.g.
- a) you will transform an article from print to electronic text suitable for inclusion in the Digital
Reserve Book Room;
- b) you will be asked to convert an already scanned chapter of Crevecoeur's Letters to hypertext by tagging it in HTML;
- c) you will work as a service librarian, for a section of The American Studies
Yellow Pages, a guide to electronic resources for students of American Studies;
- d) you will create a synoptic hypertext of a scholarly journal in American Studies or a related field;
- e) you will help transform Henry Adams' The Education of Henry Adams
into a hypertext;
- f) and, in lieu of a final examination, you will create a hypertext anthology An
Introduction to American Studies which will include a table of contents, a 10-12 page editor's
introduction, and brief head notes to each item included in the anthology. All of these
materials will be posted on your HomePage by the dates indicated in the syllabus.
Return to Syllabus.