ENGL 726-01: Digital Approaches to Literature

Section Description:

Digital humanities is a practice that combines technical competencies such as computational analysis, data visualization, and multimodal narrative with critical thinking in disciplines such as literary criticism, scholarly editing, textual studies, cultural studies, media studies, history, geography, musicology, and information studies. Multimodal narrative and scholarly communication requires at least two forms of perception (e.g., distant reading, casual listening, scanning, or close watching) through more than one medium (e.g., audio, video, animation, images, graphic novels, electronic text, non-linear narrative, or a database). We will explore how narratives and knowledge created through a combination of algorithms, data visualizations, graphics, networked environments, contingent narratives, or ephemeral texts influence the theory and practice of literary studies. This course will provide a graduate-level introduction to DH as a practice that considers how textual forms have developed in tandem with personal computing technologies to combine print, electronic text, radio, film, and video as born-digital content best experienced online. Our sources will include print, electronic literature, and a range of digital and algorithmic tools used to interpret literature in relation to the affordances and limitations of digital scholarship. We will apply a cultural studies approach to examine the cultural assumptions, practices, and values entangled with the availability and use of digital technologies and their products. Critical sources will include Cheryl Ball, Lauren Klein, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Virginia Kuhn, Tara McPherson, Jentery Sayers, Ted Underwood, and others.