Week 6: Experimenting with Computational Literary Analysis

For the first portion of the semester, we’ve talked broadly and philosophically about writing and reading, the history of print culture, and the rise of digital culture. Starting in Week 6, we’ll begin exploring specific tools and strategies for doing digital humanities work in an English department today. We’ll also get a lot of hands-on experience with the complexities that accompany DH projects as we work to build The Gray Jacket website. If you haven’t reviewed the assignment details for our collaborative class project yet, please do this weekend. You should also make plans to scan your assigned issue of The Gray Jacket with your partner. (Check your email further instructions.)

Here’s a quick review of our plans for next week’s class sessions:

  • On Tuesday, we’ll turn our attention toward methodological issues related to textual analysis, with Kayla and Joel serving as our discussion superheroes. Please read the first five chapters of Macroanalysis (pp. 1–62) and be ready to discuss them in class.
  • On Thursday, we’ll start experimenting with some text analysis tools. To prepare for the workshop, you should download a “plain text” version (not some other format, like HTML or ePub) of a novel you know well from Project Gutenberg before you come to class.

If you have questions about our plans for Week 6, or if you encounter any problems with your Gray Jacket work, please email me or stop by during my office hours (T 2–5, W 9–12).