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Readings and Assignments for English 149


The first eight classes of the course focus on selected readings designed to start students thinking about how contemporary "digital humanities" methods complement, alter, or challenge the way we study literature (for example, by contrast with the "close reading" methods that . These classes run in instructor-led discussion mode. From Class 9 on, the course enters its workshop mode where everything is geared toward the making of team projects. Some of workshop classes will also feature student presentations of their projects-in-progress; others will be pure "studio" or "lab" sessions giving team members a chance to work side by side in consultation with the instructor.


Solo assignment = Solo assignment  Team assignment = Team assignment


1. "Digital Humanities" and Literary Study: A Primer


Class 1 (Sept. 30) — Introduction

  • Introduction to the course and to "digital humanities"
    • Video of instructor's welcome and introduction to the course: .avi | .mov | .wmv (to be played in class by an assisting English Dept. staff member if the instructor is still on jury duty on this date)
  • Course enrollment business
    • Attendance will be taken of registered students and of students on the course wait list.  A sign-up sheet will be passed out for other students wishing to take the course.  Students must come to first three class meetings to hold their place in the course.)


Class 2 (Oct. 2) — From "Close Reading" to "Distant Reading"

      For each class, please read the assigned texts & other works prior to class:

Course "practicums" are hands-on, small-scale exercises that ask students to experiment at a beginner's level with the tools of the digital humanities.  Each practicum should be completed before class, resulting in a "souvenir" of the exercise left on the Student Work site. (General instructions for practicums)


Class 3 (Oct. 7) — Graphing Literature


Class 4 (Oct. 9) — Mapping Literature

Solo Assignment Create a bio for the course wiki, including your intellectual interests. (See Assignments)


Class 5 (Oct. 14) — Encoding Literature


Class 6 (Oct. 16) — Text-Analyzing Literature

Team Assignment Teams to be formed in class on this date.


Class 7 (Oct. 21) — Playing Literature


Class 8 (Oct. 23) — Changing Literature

Team AssignmentAt least one team-meeting outside class by this date to begin brainstorming. (See Assignments)


2. Project-Building


Class 9 (Oct. 28) — Project Idea Presentations

  •  Team AssignmentChoose a literary work (or part of a work) that your team will "interpret."  Each team will present to the class its rationale for choosing the work and at least two initial project ideas. (See Assignments)


Class 10 (Oct. 30) — Project Idea Presentations

  • Team Assignment(continued from last class)


Class 11 (Nov. 4) — Workshop

  • Workshops are in-class team collaboration sessions when students work on their projects while the instructor circulates among the teams to consult.


Class 12 (Nov. 6) — Workshop

Solo AssignmentAnnotated bibliography due. (See Assignments)


* [No class week of November 11th: Nov. 11 (Campus Holiday), Nov. 13 (instructor away).  Work on team projects.]


Class 13 (Nov. 18) — Workshop


Class 14 (Nov. 20) — Workshop

Solo Assignment 4-page research report on one of the items in your annotated bibliography due. (See Assignments)


Class 15 (Nov. 25) — Workshop


Class 16 (Nov. 27) — Workshop


Class 17 (Dec. 2) — Final Presentations

Team AssignmentFormal presentations of team projects. (See Assignments) [Presentation Schedule]


Class 18 (Dec. 4) — Final Presentations

Team AssignmentFormal presentations of team projects (continued). (See Assignments) [Presentation Schedule]



(Dec. 9) Solo AssignmentFinal Essay due. (See Assignments)









































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