This course introduces students to the Digital Humanities (DH) — broadly defined as the use of digital tools, platforms, and critical perspectives to address humanistic topics. Traditionally, scholars and teachers have approached literary texts through “close reading” methods that analyze fiction as well as non-fiction at the level of the word, sentence, or paragraph. Software and computational methods, in contrast, give us the opportunity to “distant read” and “machine read”: to process an entire book, or even a whole “corpus” or group of texts, at once to allow users to perceive patterns and trends that open into entirely different ways of reading. This course will train students in a number of those tools, while also giving them the grounding in critical theory and vocabulary to adequately discuss and comprehend the possibilities behind these tools as a mode of literary and cultural analysis.
This course satisfies a General Education Arts and Letters Group Requirement, is a required course for the DH minor, and serves as a prerequisite for English 470: Technologies and Texts Capstone.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.
Digital Humanities Minor courses integrate literary study with the use of digital tools and technologies. Students in the minor learn how to make interpretive arguments by building digital archives and maps, interacting with digital games, using web-based publishing platforms, and visualizing data. The minor pays particular attention to the culture of creation in literary and cultural analysis.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience.