Carsten wrote a really nice post about Scott Rettberg’s talk here a few days back. It was brilliant being able to start a semester with new students by throwing them into the thicks of electronic literature. Scott gave a great introduction to electronic literature and the pleasures of writing on and with the web, and as Carsten writes, his enthusiasm and joy really comes through when he talks, and perhaps especially when he reads from the projects he’s been involved in. I’m hoping that seeing something completely different from standard commercial sites right at the start of semester will open up the students’ ideas of what is possible in this field.
Guest lectures are a wonderful academic tradition. Not only do they inspire us researchers, it’s instantly obvious that hearing and seeing a different approach than the regular teachers is motivating and inspirational for students. Last semester at least one term paper was largely inspired by Noah’s talk here. Yesterday I found a student has already connected Implementation to pervasive gaming (her MA thesis is going to be fascinating). It’s like a mini conference, ideas and connections everywhere. I love being at a department where we have lots of guests.