IDH 180: Intro to Digital Humanities

Fall 2016

Students participating in a Paleography Lab.

This class is the first half of a year-long seminar designed to introduce you to what it means to be a scholar in the twenty-first century through an exploration of the Digital Humanities. This course takes as its content the study of books and digitization– how material books that enliven our senses are made into numerical data, allowing us to study not just one but thousands of texts at a time. What do we gain through digitization? What do we lose? How do codex and computer enrich one another? What new sorts of scholarship are made possible? This course will equip you with the tools—digital and analog—to address these questions.

IDS 181: Advanced Digital Humanities Methods

Spring 2017

By Hope students Kelly Arnold, Irene Gerrish, Olivia Lehnertz, & Sarah Lundy.

This class is the second half of a year-long seminar designed to introduce you to what it means to be a scholar in the twenty-first century through an exploration of the Digital Humanities. Last semester, we considered books as material objects; this semester, we’re talking about texts as data. What happens when we study not one book, but one hundred? One thousand? What sorts of questions can we ask of literature or history—what horizons can we see—when we work at a large scale? We will learn a variety of digital analytical tools, while reading widely in media theory and DH, exploring major trends in computational analysis and “distant reading.”

ENG 353: Women and the Contemporary Novel

Summer 2017

One student participating in #bookstagram

How are women writing novels now? How are women authors and their works marketed, discussed, and celebrated? How are women authors relating or responding to broader trends in contemporary publishing? During this summer course, we will read five (fabulous) books, all published after 2010, that represent a number of broad trends in contemporary literature—global literature, literature in translation, auto-fiction, upmarket fiction, and commercial fiction—that reflect on both the changing form of the novel and intersectional feminisms in the 21st century. In addition, we will consider communities of female authorship and criticism made possible through popular online communities such as The Hairpin, Rookie, The Toast, and Avidly, as well as private Facebook groups like Pantsuit Nation.

The Bestseller

Spring 2018

How did The Hunger Games become an international phenomenon? What forces combine to catapult a novel to the top of the New York Times bestseller list? Do bestselling novels subscribe to a “code” that can be replicated? How and why do sales figures matter? That is, what role do bestsellers play in our lives and society? This course considers the Bestseller as both an historic form and a sociological phenomenon. Beginning with the first American bestseller—Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin—we will explore the history of the bestseller in the United States, from the nineteenth-century to the contemporary, placing viral novels in the context of a growing American publishing industry. In addition to critical/historical essays, we will read work by authors such as Upton Sinclair, Edith Wharton, Dashiell Hammett, Richard Wright, John Grisham, Stephen King, and Jodi Picoult. Assignments include 3 short reaction papers, a team-produced book trailer, and a final exam.