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Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

DH Electives Spring 2019

The following courses satisfy Option A of the DH Electives Requirement

  • ENGN 5559 Digital Literary Studies

Instructors: Alison Booth and Brandon Walsh

How do you measure a book? Can machines read? Do we read prose texts now the way people read them in 1919 or in 1819? We are swimming in textual data that could change our understanding of the written word - if you know how to work with it. With the right tools, you could have at your disposal vast quantities of textual data, on all sorts of subjects, drawn from the many corners of the Internet. What else could you learn to do with all these different forms of textuality, with all this data? Can you find connections between your current interests in literature and the perspectives that technology opens up?  Will your future career involve any of the innovative or traditional methods the class will experience in this course?

This course is meant to give you practice with a variety of methods and real-world scenarios to help you participate in digital projects, using both prepared materials and your own. The course fulfills an elective in the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities (DH). We want to introduce you to literary computational methods as part of digital humanities. You will find any of your previous studies of literature highly relevant and useful for participating in this course. You may have some conceptions of what technology means in the humanities, and some of you may have encountered DH before. But our work together will not focus on the history of the field or the broad range of methods beyond literary DH. We hope you will be interested to inquire further, and follow your paths with different tools and methods beyond this course.