LIT 6934 (SPRING 2017)

LIT 6934
Spring 2017
Thursdays, 6:30-9:15pm
CPR 202
Professor Steven Jones
CPR 303
Office hours: T, 12:30-2:30; TH, 3:00-5:00 (and other times by appointment)

Novelist William Gibson has said that we now live in the age of the eversion of cyberspace. That is, the digital world has turned itself inside out and leaked out into the physical world. This represents a major shift in the collective imagination of the digital world: from a transcendent virtual reality to a mundane mixed reality, in which digital and physical are combined in complex ways. The new digital humanities (DH) rose to prominence around 2004-2008 in part as a response to the eversion and the new mixed reality, which in practical terms included the rise of mobile platforms, the geospatial turn, the mass digitization of books and other objects, casual and mobile gaming, augmented reality applications, and large-scale data analysis. This seminar is an introduction to DH in the context of the eversion. Readings will consider various representations of the eversion, theories and debates in DH, and specific DH tools, projects, and methods. In addition to doing the reading and presentations, students will have the opportunity to use digital platforms and tools to create a final collaborative project. As a seminar, class will be based on open discussion. And every class period will involve at least some tinkering and experiment.

This seminar serves as a contextually-framed introduction to Digital Humanities, an interdisciplinary field of activity at the intersection of computing and humanities research and learning. We’ll explore contemporary theories and debates in the field, including questions about technology and culture, access and preservation, privacy and security. Along the way. the course will provide a practical, hands-on introduction to a range of specific DH tools and methods, for example:

  • digitization and the curation of archives
  • text markup and electronic editing
  • text mining, data analysis, and data visualization
  • maps and humanities-oriented geospatial techniques
  • game studies and new media from a DH perspective
  • the use of digital platforms for creative work, scholarly publication, and pedagogy

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand and engage with key debates, issues, and definitions of DH
  • formulate a DH research question
  • mark up sample text using simple Markdown, HTML and some TEI-XML encoding
  • gain a basic understanding of digitization and the uses of metadata
  • identify a basic textual corpus and use available tools to analyze it
  • use digital platforms to produce and study creative work
  • apply critical analysis to digital media and platforms, and to digital technology in historical and cultural contexts
  • organize and execute a final collaborative research project on a digital platform using appropriate tools (and including a written rationale). This could take many forms: a digital exhibit of texts and images, a website or humanities app, a data analysis project with visualizations, a creative work on a digital platform or using mixed digital-and-physical media, a GIS project based on data-rich maps, and so on. The project should address a research question or area of inquiry, and it should demonstrate the value of the digital tools and platforms as well as contribute to knowledge in its content area. Because of the limits of time, these projects will necessarily be prototypes of limited scope–demonstration projects. For example, a digital scholarly edition of only a single lyric poem, or representative sample portion of a digital exhibit that might in theory be much larger.

Please adhere to the USF Graduate Student Policy, found here:

Students with disabilities are responsible for registering with Students with Disabilities Services (SDS) in order to receive academic accommodations. SDS encourages students to notify instructors of accommodation needs at least 5 business days prior to needing the accommodation. A letter from SDS must accompany this request. See

USF is committed to providing an environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (USF System Policy 0-004). The USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention is a confidential resource where you can talk about incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. This confidential resource can help you without having to report your situation to either the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSSR) or the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity (DIEO), unless you request that they make a report. Please be aware that in compliance with Title IX and under the USF System Policy, educators must report incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. If you disclose any of these situations in class, in papers, or to me personally, I am required to report it to OSSR or DIEO for investigation. The USF Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention can be reached at (813) 974-5757.

The Agrippa Files:
An Aura of Familiarity, Institute for the Future, 2013:
Electronic Literature Organization ELC3:
Gold, Matthew and Lauren Klein, eds., Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016:
Rockwell, Geoffrey and Stéfan Sinclair, Hermeneutica website:
Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, eds., A Companion to Digital Humanities:

To purchase:
Borsuk, Amaranth and Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (2012).
Gibson, William, Spook Country (2007).
Schreibman, Susan, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth, eds., A New Companion to Digital Humanities (2016).

In addition to the readings and discussion, requirements will include regular writing on a digital publishing platform; in-class presentations; and a final collaborative project on a digital platform addressing a DH question using appropriate tools. (Note: No knowledge of programming or other technological skills is prerequisite for the course. During the semester students will learn the basics of markup languages and become familiar—at the introductory level—with the basics of programming.) Grades will be distributed approximately as follows:

  • class participation 10%
  • regular online writing 10%
  • 2 PechaKucha* presentations with discussion 20%
  • Group presentation/demo of collaborative digital project (in progress) 30%
  • Final digital project, including documentation 30%

[* see]

MA Lit sutural-critical studies
MA Lit elective
MA R/C 1-2 other electives
MFA elective (5 courses)
PhD Lit theory-rich course

12 Introductions, plans, questions

19 Jones, “The Emergence of the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, Debates 2016:
Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace:
Jurgenson, “Digital Dualism Versus Augmented Reality”:
[optional additional story]: Vernor Vinge, True Names:

26 Gibson, Spook Country

2 Wikipedia, “Digital humanities”:
DH Manifesto 2.0:
Kirschenbaum, “What is the Digital Humanities?,” in Gold, Debates 2012:
Chun, et al., “The Dark Side of the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, Debates 2016

9 Sample, “Difficult Thinking and the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, Debates 2016:
Mandell, “Gendering Digital Literary History,” in Schreibman at al.
Parham, interview, LARB:
Losh, et al., “Putting the Human Back into the Digital Humanities,” in Gold and Klein, Debates 2016:
[Visit from Kristin Allukian]

16 Stauffer, “My Old Sweethearts: On Digitization and the Future of the Print Record,” in Gold and Klein, Debates 2016:
Flanders and Jannidis, “Data Modeling,” in Schreibman, et al.
[visit to the Library Digital Scholarship and Services]

23 Markdown editor:
Minimal Computing (GO::DH), including Ed.:
Introduction to HTML:
The TEI:
Price, “Social Scholarly Editing,” in Schreibman, et al.
McGann, “Marking Texts of Many Dimensions,” in Schreibman, et al.
The Agrippa Files:

2 Jockers and Underwood, “Text Mining and the Humanities,” in Schreibman, et al.
Voyant tools documentation:
Example: Frankenstein in Voyant
[visit from Dave Thomas and DH History students]

9 Rockwell and Sinclair, Hermeneutica website:
Nowviskie, “What Do Girls Dig?”:
Drucker, “Graphical Approaches,” in Schreibman, et al.
[visit from Laura Runge]

16 SPRING BREAK (no class)

23 Rettberg, “Electronic Literature as DH,” in Schreibman, et al.
Borsuk and Bouse, Between Page and Screen
Borsuk, “The Upright Script: Words in Space and On the Page”:;rgn=main

30 Electronic Literature Organization, ELC:
Jones, “New Media and Modeling” in Schreibman, et al.

6 Sayers, et al., “Between Bits and Atoms,” in Schreibman, et al.
Jorgenson, “The Internet of Things” in Schreibman, et al.
metaLAB, Teaching with Things project:
[visit to USF Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies (CVAST: ), CMC 107, Prof. Davide Tanasi]

13 An Aura of Familiarity:
Sterling, Shaping Things (esp. chapters 1 and 5):
[visit to USF Advanced Visualization Center (AVC: ), Director Howard Kaplan]

20 Final project demos