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Course Description

TTh 10:00-11:15 | Callaway Center S102 | Prof. Brian Croxall

In many ways, humanities scholarship is already digital: whether you’re working on Beowulf or The Bone Clocks, most of us do our research, writing, and sometimes reading at a computer. In these situations, the computer replaces the index, the pen, and the printed book. In a sense, then, the computer has simply sped up processes with which humanists were already familiar.

But what might we gain if we begin to use the computer to do something that only it can do? How would it change our understanding of a novel if we laid it out in geographical space? What would we learn if we could visually break down and compare the language in two volumes of poetry? What would it mean to read a book as a distributed crowd? What could we discover if we read everything a hyper-prolific author wrote, in just two weeks?

In this course we will consider these questions as we explore the field of digital humanities (DH). Through readings and various projects, we will familiarize ourselves with the concepts, tools, and debates of and within DH.

Course Goals

  • To become familiar and conversant with various concepts and methods in the digital humanities
  • To collaborate on research in a field that has traditionally privileged individual scholarship
  • To become more skilled writers through an engagement with writing as a public process