ENGL 3713: Digital Humanities and Literary Studies


ENGL 3713: Digital Humanities and Literary Studies
Fall 2012
Download: Word | PDF
M, W – 2:00-3:15, Oliphant Hall, Room 138
Instructor: Jeffrey Drouin
Office Hours: M 10-11, W 10-11, and by appointment; Zink 319
Contact: jeff-drouin [at] utulsa [dot] edu, x2853
* No technology experience necessary.* This course will introduce students to theory and techniques of electronic literary studies, including markup, computational analysis, and visualization. The course will center on a series of literary readings bearing a thematic emphasis on modernity, which will be examined through various technologies such as graphing and mapping applications, network analysis, and multimedia development. Students will also gain familiarity with electronic publishing platforms such as blogs, wikis, and Twitter. The workload will consist of regular blog posts, a collaborative wiki project, and a final individual project involving a technological component.
Required Text
Fanco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History (TU Bookstore)
Grading Policy
35%     Final Project
25%     Wiki Project
25%     Blog
15%     Participation
Course Website & Blog Posts
Blog posts are due by 8pm the night before class, and must be accompanied by a comment on at least one other 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 projects. 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!
Bonus: extra credit for blogging outside of class assignments.
Academic Misconduct
Cheating or plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the assignment with no opportunities for a make-up, no exceptions. Serious cases may result in failure of the course and reporting to the Dean for punitive action.
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 turning in an assignment in order to avoid this serious problem.
The College's policy on academic misconduct and definition of plagiarism, among other practices, can be found here:
This is a discussion-oriented course, which means that regular, punctual attendance and participation are critical. Four or more absences will put you in jeopardy of failing the course. Two late arrivals will count as an absence.
Week 1: Introduction
8/20     Course Introduction, getting set up on the blog, writing introductory post.
8/22     Matthew Kirschenbaum, “What is Digital Humanities and What’s it Doing in English Departments?” – http://mkirschenbaum.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/ade-final.pdf
Due – Blog assignment (1-2 paragraphs): Describe your experience as an English (or other) major so far. Have you done research? Do you use technologies to think with? How so?
Week 2: “The Waste Land”
8/27     “The Waste Land,” sections 1-2 -- http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1321
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.
8/29     “The Waste Land,” sections 3-5
Lab: Using Wordle (http://wordle.net) to compare the vocabulary emphases of the poem’s sections.
Determine small groups for the Waste Land wiki project.
Week 3: The “Waste Land” Project: Research, Collaboration, and Wikis
9/3       NO CLASS – Labor Day
9/5       Lab: Introduction to wikitext with research findings done before class.
Week 4: The “Waste Land” Project (con’t)
9/10     Lab: Work on wiki project; gain a sense of overall narrative; discussion of how group parts contribute to a unified resource.
9/12     Lab: Finishing the wiki; choose skin, color palette, layout, etc.
Discussion of the overall project.
Week 5: Archives/Theory
9/17     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?
9/19     Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” (D)
            Jacques Derrida, selections from Archive Fever (D)
Week 6: Archives/Theory (con’t)
9/24     Foucault, “The Historical A Priori and the Archive” (D)
Look at some digital archives:
·      The William Blake Archive: http://www.blakearchive.org
·      The Rossetti Archive: http://www.rossettiarchive.org
·      Ecclesiastical Proust Archive: http://proustarchive.org
·      Women Writers Project: http://www.wwp.brown.edu/
·      The Modernist Journals Project: http://modjourn.org
9/26     Alice Gambrell, The Stolen Time Archive
Due – Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): How does The Stolen Time Archive embody the issues of knowledge suppression, bias, and play that we’ve been discussing in relation to archives? Is it effective?
Week 7: Periodical Studies & Bibliographic Coding
10/1     George Bornstein, “How to Read a Page” (D)
Look through the Modernist Journals Project (MJP) (http://modjourn.org) 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.
10/3     Look through the MJP, find three items in different magazines related to inheritance of the past. Be prepared to discuss in class.
            Lab: Adding items to the timeline and “distant reading.”
Week 8: Emergence & the September 1918 Little Review
10/8     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.
10/10   Franco Moretti, “Network Theory / Plot Analysis” (D)
Lab: Network graphing the September 1918 Little Review with Gephi; blog post on how the network graph helps you “read” the issue (due before class on 10/15).
Week 9: Distant Reading with Voyeur Tools
10/15   Stephen Ramsay, “In Praise of Pattern” (D)
            Franco Moretti, Introduction to Graphs, Maps, Trees (pp. 1-2)
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.
10/17   Franco Moretti, Chapter 1, “Graphs” (pp. 3-33)
Play with the Google N-gram Viewer (http://books.google.com/ngrams/). What terms did you search, and what trends did you see?
Lab: Using Voyeur Tools to distant-read The Little Review.
Week 10: Distant Reading (con’t)
10/22   Lev Manovich, “What is Visualization?”: http://www.datavisualisation.org/2010/11/lev-manovich-what-is-visualization
            Look at and discuss some graphs of MJP; think about emergence in the larger scale
            Lab: large-scale distant reading of MJP dataset with Voyeur Tools; combine with network graphing (?)
Due – Blog post (1-2 paragraphs): How did graphing the Little Review corpus help you “read” it? Did you go into the archive to look at items that corresponded to interesting spikes or dips? What did you find?
10/24   Lab: Network graphing the MJP corpus.
Week 11: Mapping
10/29   James Joyce, “Araby”
            Franco Moretti, Chapter 2, “Maps” (pp. 35-64)
Look at the Hypercities (http://hypercities.com) and LitMap (http://barbarahui.net/the-litmap-project/) projects.
Think about what might be interesting to map in some literary works or data fields.
10/31   Lab: Mapping “Araby” with Google Maps. Save screenshots and links, post to blog.
            Discussion: What do we see?
Week 12: Mapping (con’t)
11/5     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
11/7     Final Project discussion
Week 13: Digital Literature Platform Studies and Final Project Work
11/12   Inanimate Alice (2005): http://www.inanimatealice.com/index.html
            Daniel Benmergui, “Today I Die” (2009): http://www.ludomancy.com/games/today.php
Mark Sample, introduction to Platform Studies: http://www.playthepast.org/?p=1857
Lab: Work on final project.
11/14   Neil Hennessey, The Jabberwocky Engine (2008): http://www.poemsthatgo.com/gallery/winter2004/jabber/index.htm
            Camille Utterback & Romy Achituv, Text Rain (1999):
Lab: Work on final project.
Week 15: Textual Theory / Presentations
11/26   Jerome McGann, “Rationale of Hypertext” (D)
Johanna Drucker, “The Virtual Codex from Page Space to E-Space”:
11/28   Presentations & project work
Week 16: Presentations
12/3     Presentations & project work
Final Projects due December 7