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Release: Immediate

UI Obermann Center hosts seminar on technology and literature

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The science of technology and the art of fiction are coming together at the University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies during a July 14-31 seminar.

Funded by a $25,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to Kirkwood Community College, faculty members from Kirkwood are meeting to discuss how changing technology is revolutionizing the content and format of literary fiction. New methods of teaching and learning are being shared.

The project directors are Sue English and Dom Franco from the department of English at Kirkwood. Brooks Landon from the department of English at the UI is a project consultant who specializes in electronic culture and learning technology.

"We will think through the whole range of intersections between literature and technology, from the printing press and typewriter to the word processor, hypertext and the World Wide Web," said Landon.

English and Franco said the project grew from teaching writing using computers. According to English, her experience shows that the greatest productivity in classrooms is reached when students work together on computers, as opposed to the time-honored notion of a writer's lonely creative isolation.

The seminar is the most recent of several NEH-funded collaborations between Kirkwood and the Obermann Center. Earlier seminars focused on faculty development and the integration of humanities and vocational courses.

Participants from the Kirkwood Community College department of English include: Sue English, Dom Franco, Paul Hauser, J.L. McLure, Devonee McDonald, Kevin Mebergall and John Mullen.