Reading the Schedule

The readings, discussion board posts, and archival searchers listed under each date are due in class that day; the in-class practicums will be held during class time and you should come prepared to work on them (we will let you know what preparations will be necessary before class).

You can find the full class syllabus and policies here.

PART I: Shakespeare in Many Forms: Text Encoding

Week One

Thursday, January 21:

Introduction and welcome

Week Two

Monday, January 25:
Thursday, January 28: LAB SESSION TEI 
In-Class Practicum:
  • Introduction to TEI text encoding and searching with the EEBO interface
  • Julia Flanders, Syd Bauman, and Sarah Connell “Text Encoding Fundamentals with TEI” (Canvas)
  • Optional: David Birnbaum, “Even Gentler Introduction to XML
Resources to explore:

Critical Approaches to Reading The Tempest: Authority, Race, Gender

Week Three

Monday, February 1:
Discussion post/Archive search:
  • Find an archival document published between 1550 and 1650 that relates to gender and post it to Canvas. Identify a passage or two from The Tempest that connects with your document and include that with your discussion board post. Note that the best way to navigate to Early English Books Online is through the list of library databases
Thursday, February 4:
  • Leah Marcus, “The Blue-Eyed Witch” (Canvas)
In-Class Practicum:
  • Marking up Shakespeare’s Tempest with TEI text encoding
Resources to explore:

Week Four

Monday, February 8:

(if that link doesn’t work, try this one; you can also search in the EEBO-TCP interface)

Discussion post:
  • Choose one passage from Shakespeare’s Tempest and one from Davenant and Dryden’s version that address the same topic in different ways. Read each of the two passages closely and analyze/reflect on the differences.
Thursday, February 11: LAB SESSION TEI
Discussion post/Archive search:
  • Bring in an archival document published between 1550 and 1650 that relates to race or colonialism and post it to Canvas. Identify a passage or two from The Tempest that you think connects with your document and include that with your discussion board post.
Encoding review:
  • Prior to class, please read through the sample encoding (the “example.xml” file in the TEI exercise folder) and element profile for the Poor Robin document and make note of any questions you might have. You can see a facsimile of the original here.
In-Class Practicum:
  • Advanced text encoding; applying analytical encoding to Shakespeare’s Tempest
Resources to explore:
Friday, February 12 (by midnight):
Discussion post:
  • Write a discussion board post in which you include a permanent link to your selected archival document (or attach a PDF) and explain why you choose this document and how you think it connects to The Tempest.

Week Five

Monday, February 15:


Thursday, February 18:
  • Safiya Sinclair, Cannibal,  sections I and II
  • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (excerpts on Canvas)
Discussion post:
  • In each of the first two sections of Cannibal, Sinclair uses a quote from Shakespeare’s Tempest as an epigraph. Choose one passage from a poem in one of these sections and discuss its relation to the epigraph of the section and to the Tempest more broadly. Pease include a close reading of the passage of the poem you choose.
In-Class Practicum:
  • Digital publication of encoded texts; editing CSS and making publication decisions
Resources to explore:

Historical and Literary Contexts 

Week Six

Monday, February 22:
  • Safiya Sinclair, Cannibal, Sections III-IV.
Thursday, February 25: LAB SESSION TEI
In-Class Practicum:
  • Workshop on encoding and group documentation

PART II: Textual Corpora and Digital Textual Analysis

Week Seven

Monday, March 1:
  • Richard Steele, “Story of Inkle and Yarico,” Early Caribbean Digital Archive
  • Richard Ligon, Yarico account from A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados, digital edition edited by David Chan Smith, pages 85–86
Thursday, March 4:
In-Class Practicum:
Friday, March 5 (submitted to Canvas before midnight that evening):
Text encoding projects due 

Week Eight

Monday, March 8:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Exploring word embedding models and examining significant terms as identified by initial text analysis explorations with the Women Writers Vector Toolkit
Thursday, March 11:
In-Class Practicum:
Discussion post/Archive search:
  • Find an Inkle and Yarico account and post it to Canvas with a paragraph or two explaining what you think is distinctive about this particular version and identifying some metadata categories that you think are important for this account

Week Nine

Monday, March 15:
  • Before the start of class on March 15, please install and test logging into Northeastern’s VPN.
  • You can find a FAQ on the VPN here
  • Download instructions for Mac (go to the section “Install VPN on a personal Mac”)
  • Download instructions for Windows (go to the section (“Install VPN on a personal Windows computer”)
  • Make sure to have your phone handy to authenticate with DUO mobile after you fill in your credentials and hit “Connect”
  • For Mac users; if you are able to install the VPN client, but have trouble logging in, go to “System Preferences” and then “Security and Privacy” and see if the VPN client is being blocked; if it is, then allow it, and that should fix things
  • If you hit any difficulties with installing or logging into the VPN, you can contact ITS. (“Chat” is often the fastest and easiest way to get help)
In-Class Practicum:
  • Editing with WordPress
  • Inkle and Yarico analysis workshop
Discussion post:
  • Transcribe your selected document and analyze it with some of the web-based tools we’ve discovered; write two or three paragraphs about what results seem interesting/significant/provocative and what you think they tell you about your document and its relationship to the other Inkle and Yarico accounts we’ve examined. Include your transcription and metadata tags with your reflection.
Thursday, March 18: LAB SESSION R 
In-Class Practicum:
  • Fundamentals of R and R Studio
  • Introduction to word embedding models

Week Ten

Monday, March 22:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Training and querying word embedding models
Monday, March 22 (submitted to Canvas/posted before midnight that evening):
Inkle and Yarico blog posts, with transcriptions and metadata due
Thursday, March 25:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Experimenting with pre-trained models
  • Developing research questions


PART III: Digital Archive Curation and Creativity

Week Eleven

Monday, March 29:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Workshopping research questions
  • Building and preparing corpora
Discussion post:
  • Write a discussion board post outlining the corpus you plan to use and defining your research question(s). For the corpus description, be very specific: include the exact texts you will be using, the estimated word count, and the source(s) you will be getting these texts from. The research question(s) should also be specific, and should be framed in the form of a question.
Thursday, April 1: LAB SESSION: Word2Vec
In-Class Practicum:
  • Group work on word2vec projects
  • Developing and interpreting queries

Week Twelve

Monday, April 5:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Remixing poetry
  • Introduction to Barbados Mercury Zooniverse site
  • M. Nourbese Philip, ZONG!, p. 1-76 and 183-211
  • Saidiya Hartman, “Venus in Two Acts”  (Canvas)
Thursday, April 8:
In-Class Practicum:
  • Embedded slave narratives and the Early Caribbean Digital Archive
  • M. Nourbese Philip, ZONG!, p. 125-182
Resources to explore:
Friday, April 9 (submitted to Canvas/posted by midnight):
Word2vec Projects Due

Week Thirteen

Monday, April 12:


Thursday April 15:
In-Class Practicum
  • Investigating archival and textual histories
  • Categorizing language from selected primary source documents
  • Group exercise in creating poems from Barbados Mercury
  • M. Nourbese Philip, ZONG!, p. 76-123
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, “Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads” (Canvas)
  • Optional: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, “Translatio Studii and the Poetics of the Digital Archive: Early American Literature, Caribbean Assemblages, and Freedom Dreams” (Canvas)
  • Optional: Lauren F. Klein, “The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings” (Canvas)

Week Fourteen

Monday, April 19:
  • Share archival documents and reflections
Discussion post/Archive search:
  • Select a primary source document for your final project and post it to Canvas with a paragraph or two on why you chose it, the archive where you found it, and what you can observe about the language it uses (if you can find a transcription, feel free to use some of the web-based analysis tools from earlier in the semester)
Thursday, April 29 (submitted to Canvas/posted by midnight):
Remix poem blog posts due