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.


Scholarly Monograph

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.)

Scholarly Publications


  • The 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.


Selected items, sorted by category

Technical Writing

Electronic Text

Drama and Theater