This is an ever evolving list of courses I am currently teaching.
From Gutenberg to Google Books (300-level)
Course Description: Examines the history–and the future–of publishing to reveal how technological innovation has consistently and dramatically transformed the nature of human communication. The course develops historical knowledge of communicative technologies, surveying a sequence of disruptive changes: from ancient innovations (e.g. the alphabet, the book), through modernity’s revolutions (e.g. moveable type, the steam press, radio, film, television) to the most recent sites of textual upheaval (e.g. the internet, the smart phone). Students apply this historical knowledge to deepen their understanding of the ways such innovations have shaped—and still shape–our understanding of texts (both classic and contemporary) and the human beings that write, read, and interpret them. To supplement this historical perspective, students get hands-on experience with textual technologies new and old such as bookbinding, letterpress printing, data analysis, and/or 3D printing.
Sample site: http://stevensonenglish.org/eng38101-licastro17/
Cyborgs and Virtual Worlds (200-level)
Course Description: Is the divide between human and machine becoming harder to maintain? From the Golem of folk tales to Frankenstein and even Siri, the concept of the semi-artificial person, or cyborg, is long-lived, appearing across popular, religious, and scientific imaginations. As technology becomes more personal, the cyborg becomes less alien, and the prospect of our own transformation into technologically enhanced organisms seems imminent. In this course we will investigate posthumanism through a critical look at cybernetics in our culture, examining representations in media such as literature, film, television, advertising, video games, and comics. Students will research the current state of modern medical and robotics science and use this to inform their readings of the cyborg in our society. Critiques will be framed through the lens of gender, race, and labor using the theory of scholars Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway, and Lennard Davis. The class will engage in multimodal research projects on a WordPress blog that focus on building written and visual rhetorical skills. Readings will include fiction such as Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which will be paired with films such as The Stepford Wives and shows such as “Black Mirror.”
Sample site: http://stevensonenglish.org/eng281-on2-licastro-fall18/
Introduction to Digital Publishing (200-level)
Course Description:This course introduces students to the principles of content creation, editing, and design of online publications. Students assess their current use of digital materials and build upon this practical knowledge base by developing an introductory knowledge of media theory. Students acquire the fundamental skills needed to produce web-based publications and the course culminates in the collaborative production of a digital text. Additionally, this is a service-learning course paired with a community partner. Final projects will be created for a client based on their needs.
Sample site: http://stevensonenglish.org/eng25601-licastro17/
Composition and Writing from Sources (100-level)
Course Description: Develops the ability to write clear, coherent, and well-developed expository prose. This course requires analytical reading and critical thinking and includes instruction and practice in research methods and writing from sources.
Sample site: http://stevensonenglish.org/eng151-om14-licastro18/