A former resident of Silicon Valley in his Stanford years, Professor Brian Reed extended his scholarly studies of literary modernism and poetics to the related fields of digital technologies in our modern and postmodern eras. To the delight of undergraduates and graduates at the University of Washington, Professor Reed has continued to be fascinated by the trends and effects of digital technologies on traditional media. Since his Northwest arrival, he has twice offered courses in the CIC classrooms on the development of electronic literatures.
In his English 551 “Postmodern Poetry in the Digital Age,” he spent the first two weeks of the quarter establishing the historical and postmodern frameworks of “e-poetics” via analysis and discussion of ostensibly disparate poets and poetic genres—from Ezra Pound to John Cage to Laurie Anderson—projecting e-poetry sites and broadcasting standard and digital-mediated performances for students to contrast with the more conventional face-to-face Seattle poetry readings that they attended.
In “Electronic Media,” his undergraduate senior seminar, he likewise set the modernist groundwork concerning twentieth-century fantasies about the fusion of human and machine, again punctuating traditional lecture and discussion with audio, visual, and multi-mediated text illustrations. Professor Reed invited students to question traditional notions of reading and “Required Reading” lists by augmenting more conventional secondary readings with pieces of digitized music clips from the UW’s Music Listening Center, and he readily navigated class sessions into cross-genre studies of hypertext, microcinema, e-poetry and fiction, and, finally, web and database art.