Research Interests of Dennis G. Jerz
My research interests include technology and the humanities; electronic text and cyberculture (including usability and weblogs); technical and academic writing; and dramatic literature.
Technology in American Drama, 1920-1950: Soul and Society in the Age of the Machine
Technology shapes and defines the values interior to the human soul, individually and collectively (the civitas) in addition to producing the external, physical environment in which people live (the urbs). Drawing on the experiments of European Expressionism, especially under-acknowledged German models in drama and film, American dramatists found new techniques for developing character and theme, as well as innovative staging techniques. Most important, however, the three decades of drama examined in this study illustrate three progressive stages in the human response to the machine. (Greenwood Press, March 2003.)
- "Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original 'Adventure' in Code and in Kentucky" Digital Humanities Quarterly 1.1 (2007). <http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html>
- Jerz, Dennis G. and David Thomas. "Cave Gave Game: The Subterranean as Game." (2005). Accepted for Dobrin, S., Taylor, L. and Martin, C. (eds), Playing with Mother Nature: Video Games, Space, and Ecology. [Book project canceled in 2007.]
- "The Bane of the President's Existence." Lore: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing (Sp 2005) <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/lore/digressions/content.htm?dis06>
- "(Meme)X Marks the Spot: Theorizing Metablogging in terms of Dawkins's Meme and Reddy's Conduit." BlogTalks: First European Conference on Weblogs. [Proceedings.] Vienna: Zentrum fur Wissenschaftliche Forschung und Dienstleistung. 67-82. (2003) [Full text: <http://blogtalk.net/Main/BlogTalks#toc8>]
- "On the Trail of the Memex: Vannevar Bush, Weblogs, and the Google Galaxy" Dichtung Digital. 2003 <http://www.dichtung-digital.de/2003/1-jerz.htm>
- "Introduction", Text Technology special issue on interactive fiction (2002); the (print) journal also contains update 1.2 of the "Bibliography of Interactive Fiction" (see below) (Nov. 2002)
- "The Experimental Seduction of Mechanistic Modernism in Eugene O'Neill's Dynamo and the Federal Theatre Project's Altars of Steel" Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 27.3 184-192 (2002) <http://jerz.setonhill.edu/resources/ESMM/index.html>
- "Bibliography of Interactive Fiction Scholarship (Including Fan-produced Criticism and Theory)" Text Technology (2001) [published online in advance of a printed issue appearing in 2002]
- Christopher Douglas, Dennis G. Jerz, and Ian Lancashire. "Adapting Web Electronic Libraries to English Studies," Surfaces (1999, Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal). <http://www.pum.umontreal.ca/revues/surfaces/vol8/lancashire.pdf>
- "Towards a Pro-active Technical Writing Curriculum," Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Forum 1998 (May 1998).
- "PSim 2.0: A Computer Simulation of Wagon Motion in the York Corpus Christi Pageant," (Re)Soundings: A World Wide Web Publication (June 1997). [The 1997 version has been archived by the journal editors; I continue to maintain a current version of PSim resources.]
Inform Beginner's Guide (April 2002, IF Library)
The Beginner's Guide (IBG) aims to provide a basic grounding in the text-adventure programming language Inform. A follow-as-you-go tutorial, the IBG creates three small games of increasing depth. No previous experience of computer programming or interactive fiction design is assumed. The book concludes with helpful summaries and reference tables (by Roger Firth and Sonja Kesserich).
- Interactive Fiction Theory
(with editor-in-chief Emily Short; forthcoming from the IF Library)
This ambitious project, already well-advanced, is to publish the first book dedicated to theories of interactive fiction: how it functions as a literary genre, what possibilities it offers, how it has been used to date; it features papers by many of the world's leading interactive fiction designers and critics.
- "Tasking Ariel in Graham Nelson's The Tempest." Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games 24 (March 2001) (plain text | local HTML)
- "PICK UP AX." Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games 22 (Sept. 2000) (plain text | local HTML)
- "Kairos Critique: Kudos and Catcalls for an Online Journal." Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments 5.1. (Spring 2000)
Selected items, sorted by category
- Kairos Critique: Reviews an online journal that works very hard to hide its content from its readers.
- Engineering Writing- Towards a Pro-active Technical Writing Curriculum: Creative use of the Internet can help manage the writing instructor’s work.
- Interactive Fiction (IF)
- Interactive Fiction Theory (assistant editor; IF Library; summer, 2003)
- "Annotated Bibliography of Interactive Fiction Scholarship" (Text Technology; summer 2002)
- "Brief History of Interactive Fiction" (introduction to a panel called "Storytelling in Computer Games Past, Present and Future") (May, 2001)
- Interactive Fiction Call for Papers
The journal Text Technology invites submissions for a special issue devoted to interactive fiction -- that is, the text-based participatory novel, or "adventure game.”
- Review of PICK UP AX (stage play that features an IF game)
- Literacy Weblog--Online and Offline Literacy
- Letters of H.P. Lovecraft (faculty-student collaboration with MA candidate Gregg Nelson)
- Student Information Technology Assistants (2000-2001)
- Collaborative Hypertext Annotation Seed Project (CHASP)
- The Inform Designer's Manual: WebHelp edition of Graham Nelson's manual for the interactive fiction programming language Inform.
- University of Toronto English Library (UTEL)
- Various Interactive Quizzes
- Review of PICK UP AX
- RUR: Rossum's Universal Robots (Karel Capek, 1920)
- York Corpus Christi Play Simulator -- PSim 2.1 for Java
- Black Male Consciousness in Early American Modern Drama (MLA 1997)
- John Henry in Federal Theatre Project Plays (Twice Told Tales, Toronto 1996)