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.
English 250 is an introductory course to Digital Humanities, or DH—a field that explores the intersection of digital culture and the humanities. We live in a time when the written word is undergoing a revolution. The rise of audio dramas and podcasts, e-books, webpages, audible books, and even databases have re-shaped and expanded what we read, how we read, and where we find stories. These media forms raise fascinating questions about the permanence and value of the written record while offering new possibilities for dynamic forms of storytelling and interpretation. DH is a field that focuses on these very questions by studying digital culture and/or by building projects that use digital storytelling methods to explore concerns at the heart of the humanities.
In this course we’ll approach DH from two directions. First, we’ll create and study digital projects that help us learn about key humanities questions. Second, we’ll draw from humanities questions as we interpret the power and human stakes of DH projects. This course is designed for those interested in learning about the humanities, literature, digital platforms and tools, and “maker culture” or the process of creating digital projects as a form of learning. Knowledge of coding languages or advanced digital tools is not required. However, this course does require a willingness to experiment with digital tools and platforms and a curiosity about the way stories and media platforms both silence and preserve records of people and forms of cultural expression.
**English 250 satisfies a CORE Education Arts and Letters Group Requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences. This 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.