Course Outline

This course is designed to examine the intersection of Digital Humanities and Modernist Studies, exploring the innovative modes of analysis enabled by digital research methods and the ways in which many of the key paradigms that we associate with modernism –ideas about the radical and the new, the inter-medial and the experimental–underpin and frame debate about the value of digital media and digital scholarship.  We will analyse projects and discussions that have resulted from this mutual engagement, evaluating their contribution to Modernist studies, considering the kinds of questions that they raise, and contextualising them in broader debates about the future of humanities scholarship.  In parallel, we will also conduct our own practical exploration of digital humanities tools and methods, experimenting with technologies such as encoding, text mining, network analysis, and mapping, in order to collaboratively analyse and explore modernist texts.

The course consists of weekly seminars and labs in which students have the opportunity to experiment with various methods and tools. Alongside these meetings, students are expected to work in small groups to research and develop their own collaborative online project focused on their chosen aspect of modernist literature.

The course outline and core seminar readings are as follows:

Week 1: Defining Digital Modernisms / Defining Digital Humanities

Week 2: Modernist Projects and Modernist Paradigms

  • Ramsay, Stephen. Reading Machines: Towards an Algorithmic Criticism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011. Pp. ix – 31: ‘Preconditions’ and Chapters 1 & 2.
  • THAT Camp manifesto  and Humanities 2.0 Manifesto
  • Van Hulle, Dirk. ‘Hypertext and Avant-texte in Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Literature’ in A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Susan Schreibman and Ray Siemens (eds.) Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.

Week 3: Digitization and Text Encoding

Week 4: Text Analysis 1 / Big Data

Week 5: Text Analysis 2 / Scalable Reading

  • Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. London & New York: Verso, 2005.

Week 6: Mapping and Timelines 1 / The Geospatial Turn

  • Cuddy-Keane, Melba. ‘Imaging/Imagining Globalization: Maps and Models.’ Discussion Paper for MLA Convention, New York, December 28, 2002.

Week 7: Mapping and Timelines 2 / Modernist Moves

  • Thacker, Andrew. Moving Through Modernity: Space and Geography in Modernism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003. Introduction and Chapter One, pp. 1-45.

Week 8: No Reading / Project Week

Week 9: Network Analysis 1 /Small worlds and Complex Networks

  • Estrada, Ernesto et al. ‘Complex Networks: An Invitation‘ in Network Science. Complexity in Nature and Technology. Estrada, Fox, Higham & Oppo (Eds.) London: Springer, 2010. Pp. 1 – 12.

Week 10: Network Analysis 2 / Networked Modernism

Week 11: Humanities 2.0


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