ENGL668K - Readings In Modern Literary Theory: Critical Topics In Digital Humanities

This course is designed to introduce students to current topics and critical issues in the digital humanities. Rather than seeking to offer a comprehensive overview of this diverse, complex, and rapidly changing "field," the course will be organized around four topical units, each extending over a period of roughly three weeks. Possible or likely topics for these modules include: How to Read a Million Books; Electronic Literature; Rebooting the Archive; Social Media and/as Social Text; Digital Humanities and the Changing Profession.

For each module students will read key essays and current statements from leading figures in the field, explore relevant projects and tools, and participate in an online discussion engaging those outside the class (through Twitter, blogs, and other communications channels within the digital humanities community). There will be no paper: instead, students will revise, annotate, curate, and edit their online postings over the course of the semester using the Anthologize tool for aggregating distributed Web content (http://anthologize.org/), with the end product being a collaboratively authored digital publication involving the entire class. Students will also visit the Folger Shakespeare Library as well as at least two area digital humanities centers, including MITH here at Maryland and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason; and will have the opportunity to meet with visiting speakers and scholars who are on campus for Maryland's active array of digital humanities programs.

No technical skills are required or assumed other than a willingness to learn. Students should, however, be open to engaging in online activities, including various forms of social media.

Note: The department will also be organizing a separate colloquium on Digital Humanities. It is complementary to this course, not redundant. Students who elect to participate in both will thus receive an especially robust preparation for work in the digital humanities.