September 9, 2012 § 6 Comments
I’m teaching a graduate seminar on digital humanities this semester, ENGL 90127 (yes, Notre Dame has insane course numbers). The class involves a small amount of media studies (McLuhan, Galloway) and a whole lot of computational and quantitative work (both lit reviews and extensive hands-on practice). I’m excited about this; I’ve taught some version of DH many times in the past, but never with this degree of technical expectation. My students have been great so far and I’m looking forward to the programming work.
A PDF of the initial syllabus is available for those who are interested. As you’ll see, I’ve left some of the details fuzzy toward the end in order to respond to student needs and interests. Will try to remember to post a final version at the end of the semester that reflects the specifics.
[Update: The final syllabus and some reflections on the course are now available.]
July 10, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I just posted an item about the literary uses of Chicago and New Orleans on the new Scalable Reading group blog (to which Martin Mueller, Ted Underwood, and Steve Ramsay are also contributors). A brief preview:
There’s a lot of jitter in the New Orleans numbers, but a couple of things seem clear:
- Through most of the period 1851–75, there’s much more literary attention paid to New Orleans than to Chicago.
- Interest in Chicago picks up meaningfully after about 1870.
- Interest in New Orleans wanes a bit around the same time, but only to the extent that the two cities occur at about equal rates in the last few years of the corpus.
[And in sum:] I’m sure there’s some novelty-driven interest in emerging cities and demographic changes, but at least in the case of Chicago and New Orleans, it doesn’t appear to be the dominant factor driving literary attention.
This is also a chance to put in a plug for Scalable Reading, both the blog and the concept. Well worth a read, I think, my own contribution notwithstanding.
January 2, 2012 § 1 Comment
Earlier this year, Andy Hoberek published a piece of mine called “Contemporary Fiction by the Numbers” in his Contemporaries section of Post45. There’s now a response up from Jeremy Rosen and a reply from me. The substance of the thing concerns the best uses of computational methods in literary and cultural studies.
Mostly, though, it’s good to have another excuse to link to Post45 in general and Contemporaries in particular. They’re on my own required reading list.
January 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
As I did last year and the year before, here’s a list of books I read for the first time in 2011. Mostly confined to fiction, but including two popular-academic books that I (uncharacteristically) read from cover to cover.
- Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Half of a Yellow Sun (2008).
- Aira, César. The Literary Conference (2010).
- Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities (1978).
- Carson, Anne. Autobiography of Red (1998).
- DeLillo, Don. Libra (1988). [Ducks head in shame.]
- Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010).
- Graeber, David. Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011).
- Johns, Adrian. Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (2010).
- McCarthy, Tom. Remainder (2007).
- Miéville, China. The City and the City (2009).
- Millet, Lydia. Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (2005).
- O’Brien, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods (1994).
- Sayles, John. A Moment in the Sun (2011).
- Vollmann, William. Europe Central (2005).
- Wallace, David Foster. The Pale King (2011).
Not a record-breaking effort, I’d say, but a pretty fun year. I didn’t get to either Theroux or Esterházy as I’d hoped, but there’s always next year, right? Same goes for Dickens — I picked up and put down Our Mutual Friend a couple of times and keep meaning to go back to it. Oh, and I’m maybe twenty pages into Arthur Phillips’ The Tragedy of Arthur, which seems nifty so far. I’ve gotten a couple of other recommendations, but am always happy to have more …
December 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’ve recently received word of two intriguing DH jobs that might be of interest to some readers:
- The three-year Mark Steinberg Weil Early Career Fellowship in Digital Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. I was at WashU last year and worked closely with many of the folks involved in this program. It’s a terrific place with great people — really, one of the best experiences of my academic life. I can’t endorse it highly enough. And this newly created fellowship is generous indeed.
- A Research Assistant Professorship to serve as Associate Director of the Center for Digital Humanities at South Carolina. An interesting research/admin hybrid at an important DH center.
September 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Following on my last post about choropleth maps and regional densities, here are a couple of quick figures showing specific named locations at the city level and below (‘bare’ mentions of nations and regions/states alone are excluded) in the same nineteenth-century literary corpus, scaled by number of occurrences:
The biggies are New York, D.C., Boston, London, Paris, etc. Compare this to the log version, which seemed more useful in the density case:
Looks to me like the log version is less clear for this type of figure.
A few notes:
1. These figures include all the texts from 1851-75; still working on year-by-year figures and an animation. Won’t be hard.
2. A couple of things to check out in the near future. (a.) How does the density of named localities compare to that of named regions and nations? Consider Africa in particular, where there’s decent national density in some cases, but perhaps less geographic specificity. (b.) I need to produce a state-level density map that subtracts some measure of population from the number of named location mentions to get a sense of which states received a disproportionate share of literary attention.
3. These maps were produced using the ‘maps’ package in R. Really simple to use. Method cribbed from Nathan Yau’s Visualize This.
4. The top few cities:
|New York, NY, USA||9183|
|Washington D.C., DC, USA||4179|
|Boston, MA, USA||3951|
|Philadelphia, PA, USA||2058|
|New Orleans, LA, USA||1580|
|Richmond, VA, USA||1152|
|Charleston, SC, USA||885|
|Baltimore, MD, USA||709|
|San Francisco, CA, USA||682|