ENG250 202002 Undergraduate

Winter 2021
ENG 250
Applies To: 
Course Description: 

This course will focus on the intersection of digital culture and literary studies. Students will learn how to use digital tools to study literature. Simultnaeously, they will use literary analysis approaches to study contemporary digital culture.

Literature and Digital Culture

Mattie Burkert

Mattie Burkert profile picture
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-0272
  • Office: 235 PLC
  • Office Hours: F21: On research leave; available by email
  • Website: Website
Department Section Description: 

ENG 250 is the gateway to the English Department’s Digital Humanities Minor. The interdisciplinary field of digital humanities (DH) is concerned with the relationship between digital technology and the humanities (academic disciplines that study language, literature, history, philosophy, religion, etc.). Digital tools allow humanities scholars to access, examine, and communicate about their materials in new ways and for new audiences. At the same time, critical approaches from the humanities can be used to analyze digital culture. A digital humanist could be someone who creates interactive maps of ancient cities with geolocation data, uses machine learning to discover patterns of characterization across thousands of novels, or theorizes how social media is changing representations of race in popular culture. This course will focus on the relationship between literature and digital culture. How does digital technology enable innovations in the study of literary and cultural history? How might insights from literary and cultural studies be applied to better understand the possibilities, limitations, and dangers of technology? You do not need to identify as a tech whiz to succeed in this class, but you must have an open mind about exploring these subjects. 


A & L

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

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

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

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.