Prof. Elizabeth Maddock Dillon
Phone: 617-373-4544
Office: 405 Holmes Hall
Office Hours: By Appointment

Dr. Sarah Connell
Phone: 617-373-3219
Office: 213 Snell Library
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2–3pm (starting on Sept. 25). Office hours will be held on the second floor of Snell Library.


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? We will read key texts from Shakespeare (The Tempest) to Shelley (Frankenstein) and learn how these texts have been transformed into digital forms. And we will try our own hands at these digital transformations as well. We will also use digital methods to analyze these texts and their contexts. 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.


It is the aim of this class to enable students to develop the following:
  • An understanding of how and why to encode literary texts in digital form.
  • An understanding of how to use digital tools to analyze large corpora of digital texts.
  • An understanding of what kinds of decisions and formats are used in creating digital archives of literary and historical materials.
  • A capacity to think critically about the use of digital and archival tools with respect to issues of cultural diversity and inclusion.


  • Attendance is required and noted. The only excused absences are for documented medical issues, religious observances, and jury duty. Unexcused absences will result in lowered grades.
  • You will complete three major projects in text encoding, text analysis, and archive building over the course of the semester.
  • You will also complete many shorter exercises that will help you gain the skills you’ll need for our major projects.
  • All readings and assignments will be posted and updated on our class site.  It is your responsibility to keep up with these assignments.

Required Texts and Readings

  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Norton Critical Edition)
  • William Davenant and John Dryden, The Tempest; or, The Enchanted Isle (available online)
  • Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (Theater Communications Group)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Norton Critical Edition)
All other readings will be linked through our class site.


Text Encoding Project: 20% Text Analysis Project: 20% Archive Project: 30% Class Exercises and Participation: 30%

Use of Technology in the Classroom

Laptops and tablets can be used to take notes, complete exercises, or view online readings and resources only—do not allow them to become a distraction. Cell phones should be turned off, not just silenced

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own. It is a very serious offense that can bring a variety of sanctions, including expulsion from the University. Other authors’ words or ideas, whether quoted or paraphrased, must be clearly credited, whether the source is in print or electronic. You must cite and fully document your sources both in a Works Cited page and within the text, following MLA style. MLA guidelines for scholarly citation are available online through Snell Library’s webpage. Any paper suspected of plagiarism or any form of cheating will be handed over to the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution. There are no exceptions to this policy. If you have any questions not answered in the MLA guidelines about how to consult or cite primary or secondary sources, or if you feel unsure of what requires citation, please contact an instructor in advance of the due date.

Class Schedule and Resources

You can view the class schedule here and find a list of resources here.