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Schedule of Readings and Assignments for English 236


This graduate course meets during fall quarter 2013 on Tuesdays at 11:00 am to 1:30 pm in the English Department's Transcriptions Center, South Hall 2509.




Class 1 (Oct. 1) — Digital Humanities and the Humanities

          [Students are asked to do the readings for this class in advance of the course's first meeting]


  • Focal Question What kind of "human" subject do the digital humanities speak from, to, for?





Class 2 (Oct. 8) — State of the Field


  • Focal Question Where is digital humanities? (methodologically, institutionally, socially, geopolitically)


  • Focal Readings
[Some of the focal readings from class 1 will be reprised to complement the more professionally-oriented readings of class 2 about the "field."]



  • Practicum: Getting Started in DH 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. The goal is not technical mastery but learning enough about the technologies to think about, and through, their concepts and also to discover which tools might be used in a student's future research.  In many cases, experience gained in the practicums will feed directly into discussion of conceptual issues in class. (See Assignments: Practicums).


Class 3 (Oct. 15) — Text Encoding




Class 4 (Oct. 22) — Text Analysis (1): From Close Reading to Distant Reading

  • Focal Question What is the relation between "form" and "data" (formal and quantitative knowledge) as approaches to humanistic knowledge?





Class 5 (Oct. 29) — Text Analysis (2): Topic Modeling

  • Focal Question In the humanities, what is the meaning of a "topic"? a "model"? and "meaning"?





Class 6 (Nov. 5) — Social Network Analysis

  • Focal Question How do we experience and know a "network"? What is not a network or resists the network model?






Class 7 (Nov. 12) — Deep Space-Time in DH (1): Digital Visualization & Mapping




Class 8 (Nov. 19) — Deep Space-Time in DH (2): Archives, Pastness, & Media Pasts

  • Focal Question How do past or present media negotiate between the self-understandings of people with and "without" a past (i.e., who identify with each other collectively and officially through a "sense of history," or not)?





Class 9 (Nov. 26) — Critical Digital Humanities: Making It Different

  • Focal Question How can the digital humanities contribute to the humanities in helping human beings understand other ways of "understanding" and of being "human"?





Class 10 (Dec. 3) — Student Presentations of Project Prospectuses


  • Other Assignment Due Student mock project prospectuses (description of assignment) should be online by this date (please place a post or link for your prospectus in the folder for Project Prospectus on the Student Work page for this course.  For effective presentations, students may want to create other online resources or slideshow presentations. 



John Unsworth, "What’s 'Digital Humanities' and How Did It Get Here?"

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