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Bibliography by Dana Solomon

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

Annotated Bibliography Assignment


By Dana Solomon, The Emigrants Project


1.  Burg, Jerome. "Google Lit Trips." 2008. 12 Feb. 2008 <http://www.googlelittrips.com>.


Google Lit. Trips is a web-based collection of software tools that work in cooperation with Google Earth to visually represent paths of travel that occur in various works of literature.  The tool's website explains that Google Lit. Trips is "an experiment in teaching great literature in a very different way."  Originally developed by English teacher Jerome Burg, Google Lit. Trips is designed to interpret works of literature visually, utilizing existing satellite mapping data to create detailed, interactive reproductions of literary itineraries.  Burg describes Google Lit. Trips as a means of illustrating how, at times, fictional characters can be in "real places, interacting with real history."  The tool is designed for individuals of all ages and the website offers a collection of already made trips designed by readers of all ages (K-12--Higher Education).  These already made Lit. Trips are available to the public and easily downloaded and opened on virtually any computer, provided Google Earth is present on the system.  Google Lit. Trips allows users to create detailed itineraries beyond mere route outlines, providing users with tools to enhance the "trip" with photographs, audio clips, and other multimedia extras.  This enriched experience is designed to complement traditional methods of literary investigation, making it easier for readers to better understand the literary environments present in their favorite texts.




2. Google Inc., "Google Earth." 2004. 12 Feb. 2008 <http://www.earth.google.com>.



Google Earth is a software program that offers users a virtual model of the Earth's surface.  The program is offered in three versions, ranging from a basic free version to a more advanced paid subscription.  The free version is designed to be used by individuals of all ages.  The program allows its users to search for specific locations around the world by inputting addresses, latitude and longitude coordinates, etc.  Once a user inputs a location, the program recalls an existing satellite image for viewing.  The quality of these satellite images (often borrowed from NASA) varies by location, with world famous landmarks usually offering much higher resolution than some personal addresses.  The program also allows users to select different virtual overlays to place on the surface of the satellite image.  These "layers" include things like roads, railway systems, 3D buildings, additional topographic information, and other points of interest.  Further, there are a variety of third party tools that can be applied to Google Earth to increase utility.  Google Earth is particularly relevant to this project because it allows for the production of a simplified, visual model of a literary text that is at times overwhelmingly mobile.  By "reducing" the constant international movement of The Emigrants to a single, all-inclusive satellite image, it is possible for the reader to view the text from a different perspective.






3. McCulloh, Mark Richard.  Understanding W.G. Sebald. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003.


Understanding W. G. Sebald serves as an introduction to the life and works of W. G. Sebald.  The text's central chapters focus on Sebald's four most widely read texts, one of which is his novel entitled The Emigrants.  The text provides a wealth of literary analysis in a concise and easily accessible format.  In addition to the text's analysis of Sebald's most widely read works of literature, the first and final chapters provide useful historical contextualization, drawing attention to the socio-political and socio-historical relevance of Sebald's primary texts.  Furthermore, the text offers insight into the idiosyncrasies of Sebald's style by first highlighting, then elucidating the author's unique blend of "memoir, cultural critique, literary history, meditation, travelogue, biography, autobiography, and even crime story."  In relation to the project at hand, the text provides a full chapter on The Emigrants, one that grants a fairly large amount of attention to the concept of geographical movement, as well as Sebald's ability to construct a narrative in which the primary characters are deceased.  This focus on the absence of living protagonists highlights the necessity of "bringing the characters to life" through descriptions of their homes, birthplaces, and travel destinations.  Further, the McCulloh text touches on Sebald's conceptualization of literature as a kind of process that culminates in a "representation" of creativity.  In a way, this conceptualization of literature as a representation of creativity points to the possibility of understanding literature as a kind of model in itself, a model of individual creativity.



4. Presner, Todd Samuel.  Mobile modernity: Germans, Jews, & Trains.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.


Todd Samuel Presner's text, entitled Mobile Modernity: Germans, Jews, Trains, introduces an alternative framework for investigating and understanding the increasingly complex nature of European and German-Jewish modernity. The text focuses its analysis of German-Jewish modernity on the advent and use of European railroads throughout the Second World War.  Presner begins by confronting the traditional conceptualization of the European railway system as the means by which the Nazis transported millions of Jewish individuals to their doom.  Although he does not attempt to argue against the significance of this historical understanding of European railroads, Presner does break away from it.  Instead, the author chooses to focus on the way that European railroads, and the increased mobility they represent, have come to shape the contemporary state of German-Jewish "mobile modernity."  The text also examines the railway system in light of philosophical, literary, and poetic texts, including Sebald's novels.  This text is particularly relevant to the current project in that a great portion of the travel that occurs in W. G. Sebald's The Emigrants is railroad travel.  Further, one of the main sources of tension within the novel is the push and pull between conceiving of the railroad as either symbolic of freedom and mobility or emblematic of confinement and death. 


5. TechSmith Corporation. Screencast.com/ "Camtasia Studio." 1995. 12 Feb. 2008  <http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/screencast.asp>.


 Camtasia Studio is a suite of software tools designed to allow individuals to create "screencasts" for a variety of predominantly instructional purposes.  A "screencast" is a digital recording of an individual's computer "screen," in which all of the individual's mouse movements, keystrokes, and other such actions are recorded, usually with the intention of illustrating how to complete some desired process.  The benefit of an instructional screencast is that it allows viewers to pause or rewind the video output, allowing them to proceed at their own pace.  Other benefits of Camtasia Studio include the ability to add music, sound effects, or verbal instructions to the screencast.  All of these additional capabilities enhance the overall experience of the viewer.  Camtasia Studio has also been appropriated by many members of the "How-To" blogging community because it produces files that are easily embedded into a variety of blogging platforms.  In regards to the specific task at hand, Camtasia Studio offers this group the ability to record our visual representation of Sebald's The Emigrants in a manner that will allow viewers to more easily interact with the model.  Furthermore, Camtasia Studio provides us with the opportunity to provide an audio commentary to viewers, thereby making it possible to explain, in greater detail, the images unfolding on the viewer's screen. 




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