Digital Writing, Literature, and Design minor launches at UMD.
The landscape of new media and new technologies is in constant change, and UMD is keeping pace. From social media to video games, graphic design, and interactive narratives, new media are influencing how we read, write, and even think. Beginning in fall 2017, UMD's new minor — Digital Writing, Literature and Design — addresses our ever-changing media world.
WHAT THE NEW MINOR OFFERS
The minor offers students contemporary, online skills in writing, design, and visual analysis, combined with an informed understanding of the cultural, historical, and critical significance of digital texts such as video games, podcasts, web sites, and social media.
As the catalogue description explains it, "This synthesis of the humanities with information technologies helps prepare students for a wide variety of professional pursuits in the networked, creative economy, as well as graduate study in the Digital Humanities and New Media Studies."
FACULTY LEAD THE WAY
One English and two writing studies classes are the first offerings of the new program. Craig Stroupe, associate professor of English, is teaching Digital Literature, Video Games and Online Culture. David Beard, associate professor, is offering the writing studies class Literacy, Technology and Society. "This minor offers students the hands-on digital skills, cultural proficiencies, and historical perspectives crucial for today's digitally mediated work and citizenship," says Stroupe. "It makes a powerful, humanities-focused complement to a wide variety of majors."
While the minor is offered by the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, the topic has a far broader scope, especially in the arts. Rob Wittig, assistant professor in the School Fine of Arts, has joined the core faculty to teach Web Design and Digital Culture.
The courses, New Media Writing and Visual Rhetoric and Culture, are two more of the required classes, which account for 13 of the 19-21 credits needed for the minor.
Above: Students in the fall 2017 Digital Literature, Video Games and Online Culture class — Back row: Marissa Alera McCool, Nic Telgram, Tory Sanna Withers, Brooke Anderson, Josh Benoit. Front row: Ellie Flanders, Thomas Deruyter, Rachel Steglich.