Spring 2015 Syllabus

Literature and Literary Study in the Digital Age

Paul Schacht, SUNY Geneseo

Office Hours

I'm available at a variety of times each week Monday through Friday. Just book an appointment with me and let me know what you'd like to talk about. Or drop by my office and see if the door is open. It usually is.

Learning Outcomes

Texts, Tools, Accounts

Digital humanities is all about tools. You don't need to buy any special software for this course, but you'll need a working laptop computer, and you’ll also need an application for writing HTML and XML code. Two excellent, free tools are TextWrangler (for Mac) and Notepad++ (for Windows). (The are also free plugins available for text editing in Chrome.)

You’ll need to set up separate accounts at English @ SUNY Geneseo and The Readers’ Thoreau. After registering at English @ SUNY Geneseo, join the group “Digital Humanities at Geneseo.” After registering at The Readers’ Thoreau, request membership in the group “Geneseo ENGL 340 S15”.

Get yourself a Twitter account if you don’t already have one. (If you do have one but don’t want to use it for this class, set up a special purpose one for the semester. You can delete it when the course is over.) Use the hashtag #engl340 for course-related tweets.

Think about registering an account at IFTTT and trying some of their delicious recipes. Not required.

Requirements and Evaluation (100 points total)

Problems (or, if you prefer, “problematizations”)

  1. What is a book? What is a text? What is writing? What is literature?
  2. What is nature? What is culture?
  3. What is technology?
  4. What is reading?
  5. Who writes? Who reads? Who speaks? Who decides?
  6. What is education? What are “the humanities”?

Routine

Weeks 1-6

Monday

Wednesday  

Friday

Weeks 7-14

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

Paper

Write a paper of approximately 1000 words (equivalent of about 4 double-spaced pages) adopting a particular revision or series of revisions in Walden and presenting an argument about its significance. The paper draft and final version must appear as blog posts in the group CommentPress blog.

Options:

  1. Relate your adopted revision or series of revisions to the arguments of Shanley, Sattelmeyer, or Silver.
  2. Relate your adopted revision or series of revisions to some rhetorical (“writing”) consideration, such as clarity, directness, emotional effect, logical development
  3. Relate your adopted revision or series of revisions to what you take to be some interesting change in perspective, tone, attitude, or conviction regarding one of the course’s six “problems” (see above) or some major theme of Walden.
  4. Other: by permission.

Projects

  1. The Donald Ross collection: organize, digitize, archive, report
  2. The Days of Walter Harding
  3. User manual and instructional videos for fluid text and Readers’ Thoreau
  4. Encoding Thoreau’s Journal
  5. Timeline of the Walden manuscript (adapted from Adams and Ross)
  6. Deeper into Walden with text analysis

Final Meeting

Schedule

Week

Date

Reading

Activity

Writing

1

1/21

Introduction to the course

1/23

Menand, “Birth of Pulp Fiction”; Moretti, “Reflections on Seven Thousand Titles”; RadioLab (listen): “Worth”

Discussion per Monday-Wednesday in routine above

2

1/26

“Economy”;This American Life (listen): “Wake up Now”

Discussion per “Routine” above

1/28

“Where I Lived”; Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness”

Discussion per “Routine” above

1/30

“Reading”; Tanselle, “Final Authorial Intention”; Silver, “Textual Criticism as Feminist Practice”

Lightning talks:

  1. What is the World Wide Web?
  2. What is a URI?
  3. What is RSS?
  4. What is Storify?
  5. What is cloud computing?
  6. What is the “semantic Web”?

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

3

2/2

“Sounds”; Hayles, “How We Read”; Twyman, “What is Printing?”

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/4

“Solitude,” “Visitors”; Stillinger, “A Practical Theory of Versions”

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/6

“The Bean-Field,” “The Village,”; Sattelmeyer, “The Re-making of Walden”

Lightning talks:

  1. Who invented paper?
  2. How long have we used pencils?
  3. Who was Father Busa?
  4. What is a text editor?
  5. What is Markdown?
  6. What is the command line?

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

4

2/9

Selections from the Journals (all)

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/11

“The Ponds”; Shanley, “The Walden Manuscript

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/13

Ezell, “The Social Author”; Siemens, et al., “Toward Modeling the Social Edition”; Walden: A Fluid Text Edition

Lightning talks:

  1. What is the meaning of “open source”?
  2. What is Creative Commons?
  3. What is the Copyright Term Extension Act?
  4. What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
  5. What is the Internet Archive?
  6. What is the Digital Public Library of America?

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

Begin work on revisions essay

5

2/16

“Baker Farm,” “Higher Laws”

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/18

“Brute Neighbors,” House-Warming”; Eisenstein, “The Unacknowledged Revolution”

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/20

“Former Inhabitants,” “Winter Animals”; McDowell, “‘Print Culture’ and ‘Oral Culture’”

Lightning talks:

  1. What is XML?
  2. What is TEI?
  3. What is PHP?
  4. What is SQL?
  5. What is Python?
  6. What is Java?

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

2/23

“The Pond in Winter”; Cohen, “Native Audiences”

Discussion per “Routine” above

2/25

“Spring”;Grafton, “Codex in Crisis”

Discussion per “Routine” above.

2/27

“Conclusion”

HTML online tutorial

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

First draft of revisions essay complete.

7

3/2

Piper, “Turning the Page”

Video chat with Beth Witherell

3/4

HTML

3/6

HTML

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

Revisions essay: Leave at least one comment on each of at least 3 other writers’ drafts by this date.

8

3/9

Striphas, “E-books”

Video chat with Ron Clapper

3/11

Walden in perspective

3/13

HTML/Project time

No forum post required.

Revision essay due.

SPRING BREAK

9

3/23

Command-Line Crash Course

Command line

3/25

TEI FTtutorial

XML-TEI

3/27

Gettysburg Address versions

XML-TEI

No forum post due.

10

3/30

Day of Infamy versions

XML-TEI

4/1

XML-TEI

4/3

XML-TEI/Project reports

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

11

4/6

Literary Lab Pamphlet 6

Text analysis with Voyant

4/8

Text analysis

Due: forum post on Monday’s discussion question

4/10

Text analysis

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

12

4/13

Jockers, Text Analysis with R

R

Due before class: forum post on Friday’s discussion question

4/15

Matthew Jockers, A Novel Method for Detecting Plot | Revealing Sentiment and Plot Arcs with the Syuzhet Package | Sean Fischer and Benjamin Wach, Canonicity

R

4/17

R/Project reports

No forum post due.

13

4/20

McCoy, “Race and the (Para)textual Condition”

R/Projects

4/22

McCoy, “Race and the (Para)textual Condition”

R/Projects

4/24

R/Projects

Due before class: forum post on Wednesday’s discussion question

14

4/27

Projects

4/29

Projects

5/1

Projects

No forum post due.

15

5/4

Summary

5/12 12-3:20

FINAL MEETING