Study Guide

Digital Humanities Texts

  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Hypermedia Archive (2008)

    This is like Disneyworld for Digital Humanists: all of Rossetti's works and paintings are here, all in one place. You can click, link, read, download, search, and even (gasp)… have fun.

    1. As you explore the archive, think about what the digital platform allows you to do that a print platform doesn't. What kinds of new insights into Rossetti's work does the digital archive allow for? 
    2. What are some of the advantages of being able to explore Rossetti's visual work alongside his literary work?
  • Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

    It's a philosophical tract about the French Revolution. But it's so well written it's also a literary work.

    1. Taking Burke's book as an example, how, do you think, can digital technology help us map connections between historical events and literary/philosophical developments?
    2. What sort of "visualization" strategies might we use to understand the impact of the French Revolution on the intellectual landscape of the late 18th/early 19th centuries?
  • Walt Whitman, The Walt Whitman Archive (2014)

    Yep, you guessed it: here are all the works of one of America's greatest poets, all in one place. Plus, there are supplementary materials like letters, notebooks, essays and journalism for you reading pleasure.

    1. How does having all six American editions of Whitman's work Leaves of Grass in one place change your understanding of this text? 
    2. What are some of the advantages of being able to study and analyze Whitman's non-poetic writing (journalism, essays, letters) alongside his poetic writing?
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion (1817)

    Austen's last published novel, which tells the love story of Anne Elliot and the handsome Captain Wentworth. Let's just put it this way: they wait a long, long time before getting together.

    1. In what ways, do you think, can we use digital technology to understand Austen's text better? 
    2. How does John F. Burrows's computational analysis of free indirect discourse style in Austen's work help us understand Austen's development as a writer?
  • Archibald MacLeish, "'Dover Beach'—A Note to that Poem" (1936)

    MacLeish re-envisions Matthew Arnold's famous poem, "Dover Beach."

    1. What are the patterns of style and vocabulary that you can identify in this poem? 
    2. In what ways can a digital analysis of all of MacLeish's poetry help us understand this poem better?
  • A Companion to Digital Humanities by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth (eds.) (2005)

    This is the book that popularized the term "Digital Humanities." What else is there to say?

    1. According to the contributions in this book, what are some of the important ways in which we can apply digital technology to the study of the humanities? 
    2. According to John Burrows in the "Textual Analysis" essay in this book, how can quantitative analysis of texts be useful to literary scholars?
  • Digital Humanities in Practice by Claire Warwick, Melissa Terras and Julianne Nyhan (Eds.) (2011)

    This is a collection of essays that shows us Digital Humanists doin' their thing. As in, practicing Digital Humanities. (Har har.)

    1. How have Digital Humanists applied digital tools like crowdsourcing and social media? 
    2. How can digital tools be applied to help us better understand books and textual history?
  • Debates in the Digital Humanities by Matthew K. Gold (ed.) (2012)

    Here's a book that lays out all the debates in the field. So now we don't have to debate what the debates are, right?

    1. How can the Digital Humanities function as a disruptive force in academic scholarship, according to the contributors in this collection? 
    2. How have the tasks and nature of scholarship changed as a consequence of evolving digital platforms?
  • Hacking the Academy: New Approaches to Scholarship and Teaching from Digital Humanities Daniel J. Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt (eds.) (2013)

    Is information technology changing the face of higher education? Is it changing the face of education in general? The contributors in this collection think so.

    1. What are some of the fundamental ways in which digital technology is changing the way that we learn and do research? 
    2. Why is "Open-Access" publishing considered to be an important principle in the field of Digital Humanities?
  • Defining Digital Humanities: A Reader by Melissa Terras, Julianne Nyhan and Edward Vanhoutte (eds.) (2013)

    Many of the seminal essays in the field can be found in this collection. It's a nifty place to start for getting a sense of where the field is today.

    1. How and why did the transition from "Humanities Computing" to "Digital Humanities" happen? 
    2. Why, according to the contributors in this collection, is there a special affinity between digital platforms and literature?