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Spotlight icon  = Readings to focus on are marked by a spotlight icon below.


English 197: Class 1 (Jan. 7) — Introduction

  • Introduction to the course
  • 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.


What's At Stake


Class 2 (Jan. 9) — Everyday Reading, Past and Present


Class 3 (Jan. 14) — Literary Reading Reconsidered

  • "Belle Lettres": Hugh Blair, excerpt from "Taste" [PDF], Lecture II in his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1787)
  • "Close Reading": Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, "Introduction" to Understanding Poetry (1938)
  • "Critique" vs. "Surface Reading"Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus, "Surface Reading: An Introduction" [PDF] (2009)
  • Toward "Distant Reading": N. Katherine Hayles, excerpt on "Scale Matters" [PDF] from How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (2012)
  • Special Early Assignment: Because so many of the readings in this course are online, students are required by this class to demonstrate that they have the means to annotate and save copies of online materials according to one of the methods described here.  Bring to class on your laptop or other digital device at least one copy of an assigned reading that you have highlighted or otherwise annotated in some way.  (If you do not own a laptop, tablet, or other digital device, then bring a printed copy of one assigned reading.)


Close Reading


Class 4 (Jan. 16) — The New Criticism (1)


Class 5 (Jan. 21) — The New Criticism (2)


Class 6 (Jan. 23) — The New Criticism (3): The Cultural Background


Class 7 (Jan. 28) — Russian Formalism (1)

  • Victor Shklovsky, "Art as Technique" (1917) (in required book: Lemon & Reis, ed., Russian Formalist Criticism)
  • Boris Eichenbaum, "The Theory of the 'Formal Method'" (1926) (in required book: Lemon & Reis, ed., Russian Formalist Criticism)


Class 8 (Jan. 30) — Russian Formalism (2)

  • Boris Tomashevsky, from "Thematics" (1925): read only pp. 66-87, 92-95
    (in required book: Lemon & Reis, ed., Russian Formalist Criticism)




Assignment Due
4-page Essay due Feb. 3.  Posted on course site in Folder for 4-Page Essays. (See Assignments)


Class 9 (Feb. 4) — Discussion of Student Papers

  • Discussion with students of key topics and issues in their 4-page essays.



Distant Reading


Class 10 (Feb. 6) — Introduction to the Digital Humanities

  • Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), pp. 1-33, 91-92 
  • Matthew L. Jockers, Chapter 4 ("Macroanalysis") in Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History (2013)


Class 11 (Feb. 11) — [No Class]

  • Practicum: Exploring Digital Humanities Tools   (See Practicum Assignments)
    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.  In many cases, experience gained in the practicums will feed directly into discussion of conceptual issues in class. (The first 4 practicums for classes 11-14 are required; students can then choose to do any 2 of the remaining practicums for classes 15-18.)
  • Also: get started on the readings and practicum for the "text encoding" topic in Class 12.


Class 12 (Feb. 13) — Text Encoding


Class 13 (Feb. 18) — Text Analysis (1)



Class 15 (Feb. 25) — Text Analysis (3)


Class 16 (Feb. 27) — Social Network Analysis


Class 17 (Mar. 4) — Mapping & GIS


Class 18 (Mar. 6) — Deformance & Glitch



Student Mock Project Proposals

    (Ideas for hypothetical digital-humanities projects)


Class 19 (Mar. 11) — Discussion of Student Mock Project Ideas (1)

    • Samantha B.
    • Angelica
    • Chris
    • Noemy


Class 20 (Mar. 13) — Discussion of Student Mock Project Ideas (2)


    • Nicole/Irene/Samantha P.
    • Max
    • Karissa
    • Maria




Assignment Due   8-Page Essay due March 15 (emailed to Instructor) (see Assignments)














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