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Women Novelists of Queen Victoria's Reign and DH Methods

Prof. Alison Booth

Working with materials, tools, and data from Collective Biographies of Women (CBW), a Scholars’ Lab and IATH database project, we will branch out from the Jubilee volume of 1897: Women Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign, in which living women novelists write chapter-length biographical-critical notices of deceased novelists, excluding the Regency and earlier figures. A prevailing question in the course will be the force of identity- and periodization-politics, so to speak: the metadata categories that classify women writers of fiction (and their literary settings) who hale from various regions or nationalities (Irish, Scottish, etc.) as Victorian British. Students will be encouraged to design research projects on biographies of women of color, other genres of literature, other occupations than writers, and many variations on the career and gender narratives as indicated in CBW. Readings will include novels and other writings by some in the 1897 list (Brontes, Eliot, Gaskell, and lesser-known), some essays on literary periodization, cultural geographies, space, life writing, and digital humanities. No prior familiarity with digital methods is expected; we will learn some aspects of XML editing and working with data. This course can serve as an elective in the Graduate DH Certificate.

Tues/Thurs. 9:30-10:45 am

Course Number: 
ENGL 8540-003