Alien Phenomenology, or What It's Like to Be a Thing. Ian Bogost
"A bold new metaphysics that explores how all things—from atoms to green chiles, cotton to computers—interact with, perceive, and experience one another

In this book, Ian Bogost develops an object-oriented ontology that puts things at the center of being—a philosophy in which humans are elements but not the sole or even primary elements of philosophical interest. Bogost encourages professional thinkers to become makers as well, engineers who construct things as much as they think and write about them."
-From University of Minnesota Press, Posthumanities Series
Creaturely and Other Essays. Devin Johnston. [Phase One]
"In compact and vivid prose, Devin Johnston's Creaturely makes forays across the border between humans and animals, seeking out intersections between culture and nature. These eight essays describe encounters with creatures common to our city parks and empty lots: dogs, crows, starlings, squirrels, mice, and owls. In each case, Johnston explores the sensory experience of his subject; with each patient observation, he edges closer to an alien consciousness."
-From Turtle Point Press
The Works: Anatomy of a City. Kate Ascher. [Phase Two]
"Have you ever wondered how the water in your faucet gets there? Where your garbage goes? What the pipes under city streets do? How bananas from Ecuador get to your local market? Why radiators in apartment buildings clang? Using New York City as its point of reference, The Works takes readers down manholes and behind the scenes to explain exactly how an urban infrastructure operates. Deftly weaving text and graphics, author Kate Ascher explores the systems that manage water, traffic, sewage and garbage, subways, electricity, mail, and much more. Full of fascinating facts and anecdotes, The Works gives readers a unique glimpse at what lies behind and beneath urban life in the twenty-first century."
-From Penguin
TechGnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information. Erik Davis. [Phase Three]
"Ranging from the printing press to the telegraph, from radio to the Internet, TechGnosis peels away the utilitarian shell of technology to reveal the mystical and millennialist expectations that permeate the history of technology, and especially information technology. The book shows how the religious imagination, far from disappearing in our supposedly secular age, continues to feed the utopian dreams, apocalyptic visions, digital phantasms, and alien obsessions that populate today's 'technological unconscious.' In turn, TechGnosis also shows how the language and ideas of the information society have shaped and even transformed many aspects of contemporary spirituality. In the end, the book gestures towards a vision of 'the network path': a global, pluralistic perspective capable of grappling with some of the forces that are currently tearing us apart: spirit and science, modernity and nihilism, technology and the human."
-From Serpent's Tail

Additional readings are either linked externally to other sites or linked internally as PDFs. Students might find some of these readings difficult; however, I fully expect that genuine and generous engagement with these texts will see students through the semester.