This is an unconventional methods course, because we’ll be looking at two very different kinds of methods.
The first are what you may be used to from courses in the humanities; how can we can bring a wide variety of interdisciplinary methods
I expect 3 response papers as blog posts, and 2 weeks of leading discussion on one week including a brief summary of some texts off of the list. There are a number of optional readings for each week: on the week you present, you should read several (though not necessarily all) and e-mail the class in advance.
The second of requirements revolve around actually applying data analysis techniques to real-life examples.
This will take two forms.
The first are problem sets–something you’ve probably never encountered in a humanities grad class before. I will look at these, but they will be ungraded.
The second are domain applications. We will have access in this class to some fascinating collections of humanities data, in the form of texts, census records, and bibliographic information. Some of will be bringing your own.
If you are taking this under the guise of a research seminar with your own materials, you should produce a multifaceted analysis with a reflective, methodological take on the data you bring to the class. This could either take the form of an explicit journal article for a digital humanities audience (I would mirror those in what used to be called Literary and Linguistic Computing) or a 10-20 methodological appendix to a larger work (such as a dissertation) giving the details of an analysis that may take only a few pages in a more traditional work. You’ll consult with me over the semester about how best to integrate your sources with materials from class
If you are taking it as a readings course, you still should create something. As we move into the later weeks of the semester, you should figure out which of the the various data sets we’ve used may be particularly interesting and find a way to build out on the techniques and strategies to create something novel. Most likely, this will be an experiment along the lines of the “Quantitative Formalism” pamphlet we read later. In it, you will take the fundamental advantages of a programming environemnt combine some of the various methods and strategies we’ve learned in a programming environment, or build out some new ones. Appropriate products might include a large-format print map, a set of blog posts exploring generic distances, or