About: ENGL 8023 -- Magazine Modernism: Digital Methods in Periodical Studies

ENGL 8203: Magazine Modernism: Digital Methods in Periodical Studies

Spring 2013


M 2:00-4:45, Oliphant 138 (Mac Lab)
Instructor: Jeffrey Drouin
Contact: jeff-drouin [AT] utulsa [DOT] edu, (918) 631-2853
Office Hours: Zink 319 — M 1-2pm, T 2-3pm, and by appointment


*No technical experience necessary.* This course will use traditional and digital methods in periodical studies for a research-based foray into British and American modernist magazines. Topics of interest will include gender, war, politics, aesthetics, and archival theory, among others. Students will combine bibliographic description with techniques in cluster analysis, topic modeling, network graphing, and more in order to generate new knowledge about the Modernist Journals Project corpus. Our excellent magazine holdings in Special Collections will also form the basis of an archival research project. The work will comprise regular blog posts, laboratory workshops, short assignments in interactive media, archival research, and a final paper or digital project.

Required Texts

  • Robert Scholes and Clifford Wulfman, Modernism in the Magazines: An Introduction
  • Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History


Much of our magazine reading will take place at The Modernist Journals Project (http://modjourn.org).

Downloaded readings are marked (D) and are available at the Readings page of the course. The Readings page is only available when you are logged in.


Grading Criteria

Blog Posts       25%
Labs                25%
Final Project    35%
Participation   15%


Blog Posts

Blog posts are due by noon the day of class, and should be accompanied by at least one comment on someone else’s post. 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 paper assignments. The blog assignments are designed to help you process readings, to identify areas of interest for class discussion, to practice analytic writing, and to generate material for use in papers. Make the most of them!

Grading Critera

3 – Raises interesting topics or questions; shows lively analytic engagement with the material; 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.



There will be regularly scheduled labs designed to teach methods and technical skills in digital periodical studies, usually involving a written component. A grade of 1-3, similar to that assigned to blog posts, will be used to assess the level of engagement with the material and the tools. Note that the grade will not be used to assess proficiency with tools, since these can often take more time than can be allotted in a single course. Rather, assessment of labs will be based on how well students intellectualize the tools as they are used to think about the periodical material.


Final Project

The final project will consist of student-designed papers and/or technological activities. Options and criteria will be provided by the instructor, though students can expect to perform some original research and will be held to a standard of scholarly rigor.