Sharing the syllabus for a course called “Distant-Reading the Long Nineteenth Century,”
in case anyone finds it useful.
I profited a lot from other syllabi in writing this, taking hints in particular from courses designed by Rachel Buurma
, James A. Evans,
Andrew Goldstone, Lauren Klein,
, and Matthew Wilkens.
My goals were especially close to Goldstone’s syllabus for “Literary Data”
(Spring 2015), and there’s a lot of overlap here: like him, I’m teaching R, using texts by Matt Jockers
and Paul Teetor.
Although the title says “nineteenth century,” this is definitely a methods course more than a survey of literary history. (I mention a period in the title partly for truth in advertising, since I don’t have the data to support research projects outside of 1750-1922 yet.) The course will include several occasions for close reading and discussion of nineteenth-century literature, but the choices of particular texts will mostly be made as we proceed and motivated by our distant readings.
Three years ago I taught a very different grad seminar called “Digital Tools and Critical Theory.”
That was more about teaching the conflicts; this one focuses on preparing students to do distant reading in their own work.