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Page history last edited by Alan Liu 12 years ago

Schedule of Readings and Assignments for English 236

The first part of the course ("Theory") focuses on key topics in literary studies related to the onset of the digital humanities and new media studies.  In the second part of the course ("Project Workshop"), students collaborate on developing and presenting team projects.

= Solo assignment  = Team assignment



Class 1 (April 5) — "Close Reading"

  • Introduction: Idea of this course
  • Modernism, formalism, and close reading (the "New Criticism") - 1930's to 1960's
  • Challenges to Close Reading in the Mid to Late 20th Century
    • Annales historiography
      • Table of Contents from Fernand Braudel's The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (1976)
    • Structuralism and "langue"
    • Poststructuralism and "language" ("textuality," "intertextuality," etc.)
    • Hypertext theory in the 1980's
    • Media theory (including "media archaeology")
    • Cultural studies
  • Practical Exercise

Class 2 (April 12) — "Distant Reading"  I

Create a bio for the Class Members page of the course wiki; include your intellectual interests. (For details, see Assignments)


Class 3 (April 19) — "Distant Reading" II (Digital Humanities methods)

Teams to be formed in class on this date. [Students may choose instead to work individually on projects supporting their dissertations.]


Class 4 (April 26) — Beyond Close vs. Distant Reading 

At least one team-meeting outside class by this date to begin brainstorming. (For details, see Assignments)




Class 5 (May 3) — Project Idea Presentations

 Choose a literary work (or part of a work) that the team will work on.  Present to the class your team's rationale for choosing the work and at least two initial project ideas. (For details, see Assignments)


Class 6 (May 10) — Workshop

(Alan out of town this day)

Create an annotated bibliography of 5 research resources related to your team's project (including not only items from the relevant secondary, theoretical, or technical literature but also at least one online or downloadable tool that might be added to the Toy Chest). (For details, see Assignments)


Class 7 (May 17) — Workshop

 Write 4-page research report on one of the items in your annotated bibliography. (For details, see Assignments)


Class 8 (May 24) — Workshop 


Class 9 (May 31) — Workshop 


Class 10 (June 7) — Final Presentations 

Formal presentations of team projects. (For details, see Assignments)


(June 11)

Final essay or other form of combined analytical/reflective/creative thinking about your team project or its primary literary work due. (For details, see Assignments)

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