T/R 2:00-4:45, Chapman Hall 252
Instructor: Prof. Jeffrey Drouin
Office: Zink Hall 319
Virtual Office Hours: T, R 9:00-10:00 and by appointment (in the Harvey “Room” for our course)
What will the future of literary studies look like? Can we love a digital text as much as a dogeared
paperback? This course will explore theories of text and the archive—both material and
digital—in conjunction with computational techniques for editing and scholarship. We will
toggle between theory and practice through a series of intensive exercises in electronic editing,
text encoding, dataset preparation, text mining, topic modeling, network graphing, mapping,
and other techniques involving information visualization. Along the way, we will probe the
relationship between these newer modes of scholarly criticism and their grounding in
“traditional” practices of close reading, historical research, and love of unique works that tend
to motivate our pursuit of this field.
No technological experience or computer programming is necessary to complete this course
successfully. The tools and techniques covered here will begin with user-friendly applications
and proceed cumulatively to more advanced ones. Students will therefore walk away from this
course with a nuts-and-bolts knowledge of all kinds of different technologies and software, plus
a sense of the open-source community ethos.
Blog Posts 30%
No more than two unexcused absences are allowed during the semester. Two late arrivals will
count as an absence. More than two absences will result in a lowered grade and, in extreme
cases, possible failure of the course and intervention from the Dean’s office.
TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM
Since this is a technology focused course, students are welcome to use laptops, tablets, and
other digital devices in class as long as they are used solely for in-class activities. Please respect
your peers and your education by refraining from online socializing, texting, and aimless
browsing during class. Stay here and stay focused!
A major aspect of this course is to develop yourself as a writer. To that end, the blog
assignments provide an opportunity for you to help each other as a community of writers, as
well as to hone your skills in processing readings, identifying areas of interest for class
discussion, practicing analytic writing, and generating material for use in papers. This is processoriented
writing, so informality is fine so long as you make specific interpretive claims or raise
incisive questions – always follow through – and always quote from the text.
Students are on their own recognizance to blog eight times (1-2 paragraphs in length; about once
every other week on average) and to comment on at least one other post from your peers. In
order to ensure that everyone receives feedback, respondents and moderators must reply to a
post that does not yet have commentary.
Posts will be given a grade on an ascending scale between 1 and 3, depending on the level of
analytic engagement. That means you should use these small exercises as practice writing for the
larger assignments. Make the most of them!
3 – Shows lively analytic engagement with the material; raises interesting topics or questions;
makes use of quotation or other discussion of evidence; is appropriately tagged with subject
terms, authors, and other key information.
2 – Demonstrates interest and analytic engagement, but stops short or is not tagged thoroughly.
1 – Makes little or no attempt to move beyond description or observation; makes obvious or
vague statements without follow-through; is not tagged properly.
The two required books for this course will be marked Hayles and Pressman or McGann in the
Hayles and Pressman (eds.), Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era
Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature After the World Wide Web
Readings marked (D) on the syllabus are available for download at the password-protected Readings page on the blog or at the links provided in the schedule. Students are responsible for bringing the texts to class—whether printed out or on a screen device—for reference during discussion.
For additional reference and resources, see the following books, blogs, and websites.
- Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens and John Unsworth. A Companion to Digital Humanities. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. (CDH)
- Siemens, Ray and Susan Schreibman. A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. (CDLS)
- Digital Humanities Questions & Answers: http://digitalhumanities.org/answers/
- Digital Humanities Quarterly: http://digitalhumanities.org
- Project Bamboo: http://projectbamboo.org
- The Stone and the Shell: Using Large Digital Libraries to Advance Literary History (Ted Underwood): http://tedunderwood.com
- Sapping Attention: http://sappingattention.blogspot.com
- Arcade Blogs: http://arcade.stanford.edu
- 3quarksdaily: http://www.3quarksdaily.com
- DATA or Digitally Assisted Text Analysis: http://scalablereading.northwestern.edu/
- Institute for the Future of the Book: http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/
Since this is not a lecture course, students are expected to participate in class discussion every
day by sharing commentary and asking questions. Of course, completing the readings and
taking notes on them are key to making yourself a vital presence in the group. Being an active
discussant is a critical way to improve and expand your understanding of the readings.
Discussion is also an excellent way to develop communication skills for other academic areas as
well as potential careers. As with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
In order to minimize exposure to the novel coronavirus, our in-person meetings will be on
Thursdays only (except for the first week, which is both days). Tuesdays will be due dates for
readings and online activities like blogging and mapping.
This is a discussion-oriented course, which means that regular, punctual attendance and
participation are critical. Three or more absences (in-person or virtually) will put you in
jeopardy of failing the course. Two late arrivals will count as an absence.
For the Fall 2020 semester, wearing a face mask or face covering is required in all TU buildings,
including during in-person classes, in-person labs, and all other gatherings. The requirement to
wear a face mask or face covering in TU buildings is reflected in the Student Code of Conduct. If
you come to class without a face mask or face covering, you will be asked to leave class and
return with a face mask or face covering. All students will be provided with an initial supply of
reusable masks and there will also be a supply of disposable masks for students’ use in
designated pick-up locations across campus while supplies last. If you refuse to wear a face
mask or face covering during an in-person class or other event on-campus, you will not be
permitted to enter or stay in the class and may be referred to the Dean of Students who will
address this as a disciplinary issue.
The University is committed to safety. In the majority of situations, people who cannot wear a
face mask or face covering because of a disability/medical condition should make plans for
remote access. Any person who believes they have a disability that prevents them from
wearing a face mask or face covering as required, and believes they need physical access on
campus, must apply for a disability accommodation. The University will review such requests
and make determinations about any reasonable accommodations. Please reach out to request
disability accommodations to email@example.com or 918-631-2315.
Plans for Remote Learning
Given the current global pandemic, it is possible that TU may quickly pivot to remote learning
for most coursework. In the event that this occurs, you will be notified via e-mail through your
TU e-mail address. For this class, Thursdays will become a synchronous video chat session
during our regular meeting time; the same attendance policy will apply (see above). All readings
and asynchronous assignments will remain in place.
Cheating or plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the assignment with no opportunities
for a make-up, no exceptions. Policy requires that all plagiarism and misconduct be reported to
the Dean of the Arts & Sciences College. Serious cases may result in failure of the course and
punitive action from the Dean.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s language or ideas as if they are your own, without
proper acknowledgment of the source. It can include everything from paraphrasing a source
without citation to wholesale copying of a phrase, sentence, paragraph, or more. If ever in
doubt, or if you are having trouble with an assignment, contact the instructor to talk it over
before it is due in order to avoid this serious problem. It is far better to come to an
arrangement with the instructor and turn in an assignment late (with no penalty) than to risk a
The College's policy on academic misconduct and definition of plagiarism, among other
practices, can be found here:
Student Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course students will be able to:
- Create independent work that analyzes, evaluates, and synthesizes aspects of Anglophone literature and digital humanities.
- Understand, analyze, and evaluate diverse areas of Anglophone literature and digital humanities.
- Understand, analyze, and evaluate diverse ethical values presented in a range of literary works.
- Write and present effectively about issues in the field.
- Understand and apply ethical guidelines for work in the field.