This seminar will explore the use of digital tools for analyzing, preserving, and transforming literature and literary culture. Whose work is preserved and whose work isn’t? Whose stories are told and whose are not? Do digital tools enable us to bring more diversity to the literary past and present? Together we will consider how digital tools enable us to reconsider issues of gendered authorship, racial representation, and the links between archives and authority in the past and today.


In Part I of this class, we will focus on TEI text encoding, using William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and several of its adaptations to ground our explorations of this foundational digital humanities methodology.

Part One

In Part II, we will turn to text analysis at scale with a number of computational text analysis methods, including vector space modeling using the word2vec package developed by Professor Benjamin Schmidt; our focal texts for this section will be several versions of the Inkle and Yarico account.

Part Two

In Part III, we will study a range of digital archives and you will have the opportunity to examine a archival item of your own, analyzing its history and creating computational poems using its language to think about how methods of remix can disrupt colonial and imperial legacies. Our focal text for this section will be Zong! by M. Nourbese Philip.

Part Three