English 338

(section 065)
Studies in the Romantic Period: Digital Humanities Approaches
Steven Jones
Spring 2016
T, TH  1:00-2:15
Mundelein Center 403
Office hours: T, TH 11:00-1:00; other times by appointment (Crown Center 421)

In the past decade, the digital humanities (DH) has emerged as an important set of interdisciplinary practices. As Wikipedia says, “digital humanities embraces a variety of topics, from curating online collections to data mining large cultural data sets,” and makes use of “tools provided by computing (such as data visualization, information retrieval, data mining, statistics, text mining, digital mapping), and digital publishing.” In this class we’ll look at digital-humanities approaches to the study of Romantic-period literature, a fruitful field of study since the 1990s, even before “digital humanities” was a common term. From the multimedia art of William Blake to the science fiction of Mary Shelley, and including manuscripts, illustrated gift books, and newspaper verse, Romantic-period literature has long been the focus of experiments in digital texts and publishing platforms, as well as the use of digital tools for text analysis, visualization, and data mining. We’ll look at some established online resources—such as the William Blake Archive, Romantic Circles, and NINES—as well as experiments in “distant reading” or the “macroanalysis” of large corpora of nineteenth-century texts. And we’ll address questions about the future of digital humanities and literary studies in general. Requirements (see below) include hands-on experiments with digital tools and resources and a final collaborative project.


are online. Print them out as needed or read on your screen(s). Experiment: this mixed-platform textual condition will be one of the subjects we discuss in class. For Frankenstein, use any print edition you have along with the online texts (but know your edition and be prepared to notice textual variants). Look ahead in the syllabus and explore the links to DH materials. Even though they may not be assigned for some weeks, you should be getting to know the tools and resources from the beginning of the semester.


Although this is technically a lecture class, it will be a collaborative effort by all of us. Your work for the course (much like mine) is:
(1) to come to class prepared to engage in discussions. That preparation (much like mine) will inevitably involve some research outside of class, time spent reading and exploring online materials,
(2) some of which you’ll bring to scheduled show & tell sessions (about DH tools and their use with Romantic-period texts), while also working collaboratively to
(3) create a final project on a digital platform. A group effort, this will result in something online about the use of digital approaches to Romantic-period literature. A detailed one-page summary of your individual contribution is due on the final day of class, and in the final two weeks, we’ll have very brief presentations of the projects in their final stages. In addition, everyone will participate in
(4) two visits to the University Library and Archives. So it breaks down this way (approximately):

Participation, including discussions and library visits …………… 30%
Show & tell ……………..………………………………….……………………… 30%
Final collaborative project…………………………….…………………… 40%

Interim feedback will sometimes happen in class, in responses from your peers or from me, but you’re encouraged to see me at any time during the semester (in office hours or by appointment) to talk about any aspect of the class, including how you’re doing along the way.


January 19
Introduction: Digital Humanities and the Romantic period
Jones on “Digital Romanticism”
[recommended:] Jones from The Emergence of the Digital Humanities

January 26
William Blake Archive
Songs of Innocence & of Experience
Visit to library, Niamh McGuigan, January 28
Introduction to DH tools: Voyant, Juxta, Omeka, HathiTrust Research Center Portal, StoryMap

February 2
Blake cont’d
Hone and Cruikshank, The Political House That Jack Built and The Clerical Magistrate
Loyola’s Michalak Collection
Visit to University Archives February 4

February 9
Price on electronic scholarly editions
Romantic Circles Electronic Editions

February 16
Juxta and Juxta Commons
Lyrical Ballads

February 23
Lyrical ballads cont’d
Southey Letters (Romantic Circles)
Dodd, “Thoughts in Prison” with Appendix (Romantic Circles)

March 1
scholarly publication
RC Praxis Series
ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830

March 8

March 15
aggregation, interconnection, annotation
on the Semantic Web
JEP issue using Hypothes.is
a Markdown editor

March 22
Shelley-Godwin Archive
Frankenstein in Juxta

March 29
British Women Romantic Poets (see especially Felicia Hemans, L.E.L., Charlotte Smith)
Barbauld (Romantic Circles)
Orlando Project
Women Writers Project

April 5
Rockwell on text analysis
Underwood, “Seven Ways”
Google Ngram viewer
Smith’s Sonnets in Voyant
Matthew Jockers

April 12
British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism
BWP poems from 1793 in Voyant

April 19
presentations of projects

April 26
presentations of projects
and see Hermeneutica website

** Final group projects and one-page summaries of individual contributions to those projects are both due FRIDAY, MAY 6, 1:00 PM. Send your summaries to me ONLY via email, complete with request for confirmation of receipt: sjones1@luc.edu.**

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