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ENGN 5559 Digital Literary Studies

Alison Booth
Brandon Walsh

How do you measure a book? Can machines read? Do we read prose texts now the way people read them in 1919 or in 1819? We are swimming in textual data that could change our understanding of the written word - if you have the right tools and know how to access and work with it. What could you learn to do with all these different forms of textuality, with all this data? Can you find connections between your current interests in literature and the perspectives that technology opens up, or the goals of your career? This course is meant to give you practice with a variety of methods and real-world scenarios to help you participate in digital projects, using both prepared materials and your own. The course fulfills an elective in the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities (DH). We want to introduce you to literary computational methods as part of digital humanities, no matter what previous familiarity you might have. You will find any of your previous studies of literature highly relevant and useful for participating in this course. No one needs to be or to become a programmer. You will begin with your own interests and skills and help us encounter, together, specific methods of digital reading or ways to analyze and visualize the data of texts, including topic modeling and XML markup. There is room in our plans for us to consider how our methods could be applied for selected writers or literary works or genres that you want to write about or work on, or that you have encountered in other courses or personal reading. A focus on literary DH in this course doesn’t cover the entire spectrum of possibilities for digital research. We hope you will be interested to inquire further, and follow your paths with different tools and methods beyond this course.

Course Number: 
ENGN 5559
DH Certificate requirement :