Week 1: Introduction


Course introduction, getting set up on the blog, writing introductory post.


Matthew Kirschenbaum, “What is Digital Humanities and What’s it Doing in English Departments?” –

Jerome McGann, “Information Technology and the Troubled Humanities” (D) Due – Blog assignment (at least 2 paragraphs): Describe your experience as an English (or other) major so far. Describe any research you might have done. How do you think with technology?

Week 2: The Waste Land


The Waste Land, sections 1-2 --

Due – Blog assignment (1-2 paragraphs): Take a moment from the poem that you found difficult or intriguing, and subject it to close analysis. Be sure to quote from the text to back up your points.


The Waste Land, sections 3-5

Lab: Using Wordle ( to compare the vocabulary emphases of the poem’s sections. Determine small groups for Waste Land project.

Week 3: The Waste Land Project: Research, Collaboration, and Wikis


Lab: Introduction to wikitext with research findings done before class.


Lab: Work on wiki project; gain a sense of overall narrative; discussion of how group parts contribute to a unified resource.

Week 4: The Waste Land Project (con’t)

9/16 Lab: Work on wiki project.

9/18 Lab: Finishing the wiki; choose skin, color palette, layout, etc. Discussion of the overall project.

Week 5: Archives/Theory


Werner/Voss “Intro: Toward a Poetics of the Archive” (D)

Michel Foucault, “Fantasia of the Library” (D)

Due – Blog post (2 paragraphs): With reference to either the Werner/Voss or the Foucault article, how might you read The Waste Land as an archive?


Foucault, “The Historical A Priori and the Archive” (D)

Jacques Derrida, selections from Archive Fever (D)

Week 6: Archives/Theory (con’t)

9/30 Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” (D)

10/2 Mark Sample, "Introduction to Platform Studies":

Look at some digital archives:

Alice Gambrell, The Stolen Time Archive

Due – Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): How does The Stolen Time Archive embody concepts of archival theory that we’ve been discussing? Is it effective?

Week 7: Periodical Studies & Bibliographic Coding


George Bornstein, “How to Read a Page” (D)

Look through the Modernist Journals Project (MJP) ( to get a sense of what it contains. Pick a magazine and look through a few issues to note its tone, the kind of readership it appeals to, what kinds of advertisements (if any) it carries, what kinds of topics it tends to cover, how it is laid out (Does it have much visual art? Standard columns or more variety? Etc.). Then pick one issue, find an item of interest that is related to the inheritance or preservation of the past. Note how you moved around in the magazines and be prepared to discuss.

Due – Blog post (2 paragraphs): Discuss the bibliographic coding of the item you picked. Is it juxtaposed to anything relevant? Is there another item somewhere in the issue that relates to it in an interesting way?

Lab: Adding items to the course timeline.


Look through the MJP, find three items in different magazines related to the inheritance of the past.

Record the following information for each item, which will be used in the lab, and be prepared to discuss the items in class.

Author (or company, if an advertisement)

  • Title
  • Page #s
  • Issue date
  • Magazine title
  • Subject keywords

Lab: Adding items to the timeline and “distant reading.”

Week 8: Emergence & the September 1918 Little Review




Sean Latham, “Unpacking my Digital Library” (D)

Read the September 1918 Little Review at the MJP, noting ways in which items have commonalities and how this is achieved. Also note how you moved around in it. Be prepared to discuss in class.


Week 9: Distant Reading & Visualization


Franco Moretti, “Network Theory / Plot Analysis” (D)

Matthew Jockers, “Revolution” and “Evidence” (D)

Lab (BRING YOUR LAPTOP TO CLASS): Network graphing the September 1918 Little Review with Gephi.

  • Prep -- Download and install Gephi 0.7beta on your computer at least a couple of days before class, so we can troubleshoot if necessary. Download the software from the link appropriate to your operating system (e.g. Mac, Windows) here:


Stephen Ramsay, “In Praise of Pattern” (D)

Franco Moretti, Introduction and Chapter 1 of Graphs, Maps, Trees (pp. 1-33)

Play with the Google N-gram Viewer ( What terms did you search, and what trends did you see?

Due: Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): How did the network graphs in Gephi help you to “read” the September 1918 Little Review? Be sure to post a screenshot or two by way of illustration.

Lab: Using Voyeur Tools to distant-read The Little Review.

Week 10: Distant Reading & Visualization (con’t)


Lev Manovich, “What is Visualization?”

Look at and discuss some graphs of MJP; think about emergence in the larger scale

Lab: Distant-reading The Little Review with Voyeur Tools.



Matthew Jockers, “Macroanalysis” (D)

Due – Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): How did the reduction process of visualizing the Little Review corpus help you to “read” it? What did you find when you went into the archive to look at items that corresponded to interesting patterns?

Lab: large-scale distant-reading of MJP dataset with Voyeur Tools and its more advanced features.

Week 11: Mapping


Guiding Question: How is "Araby" mappable?

James Joyce, “Araby”

Franco Moretti, Chapter 2, “Maps” (pp. 35-64)

Look through the Hypercities ( and LitMap ( projects. Think about what might be interesting to map in some literary works or data fields.

Due: Writeup (blog post, 2 paragraphs) from second Voyeur Tools lab, comparing visualization results for 2 or more magazines.




Week 12: Mapping (con’t)


Lab: Mapping “Araby” with Google Maps. Embed maps on blog. Discussion: What do we see?


Due – Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): What did you learn about “Araby” by mapping it?

Lab: Find a text you’d like to map. Bring it in and we’ll map and discuss

Final Project discussion

Week 13: Digital Literature , New Media, & Course Roundup


Christopher Funkhouser, “Digital Poetry: A Look at Generative, Visual, and Interconnected Possibilities in its First Four Decades”

Neil Hennessey, The Jabberwocky Engine (2008):

Camille Utterback & Romy Achituv, Text Rain (1999):


Bernhard Rieder and Theo Röhle, “Digital Methods: Five Challenges” (D)

Matthew Jockers, “Orphans” (D)


Week 15 -- Presentations of Final Projects in Progress

12/2 Presentations

12/4 Presentations