literature and digital illlumination


Digital media encourages analysis and engagement

In order to demonstrate how students could use digital media to analyze literature, Lis created the following Flash project (or the Quicktime version, which is downloadable):

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Students creating similar projects will be encouraged to ask themselves questions such as the following:
- What type of music might properly express the tone of this text?
- How does my audience and medium require me to alter the presentation or content?
- How can I make my argument visually, aurally, and textually coherent?
The project requires the student to marshal a wide range of analytical skills to create a multifaceted close reading of a text. The multidimensional aspect of the project broadens students' interaction with the text and allows them to see it in newer, more culturally relevant ways.

This brief example shows what could happen if we were to go beyond the realm of the purely-print and ask our students to engage with the texts, the authors, and the issues behind literature in ways that are not easily transferable to a traditional paper assignment. We are not trying to dismiss the value of a written research paper, but we are encouraged by the kind of engagement—immersive and exciting—that occurs when students use digital media to interact with literature.

Part of the excitement comes from the ability to easily share and disseminate student projects. In-class showcases allow students to learn from each other and to take greater pride and interest in their exhibited work. This work can also be shared with friends, family, and others outside of the classroom through email, websites, and blogs. Digital work is not merely written and forgotten—it expands possibilities and potentials for engagement.