Instructors: Chris Hench & Claudia von Vacano

Time: M 4-6

Room: 458 Evans

Humanists have traditionally emphasized the ‘close reading’ of a text, where the value is placed on the nuances of specific passages. The increasing amount of digital text being published and archived affords us an opportunity to read the text differently—as data on a scale larger than ever before. This ‘distant reading’ approach (mediated through the computer) complements our ‘close reading’ by providing a broader context for interpretation previously inaccessible. It also allows us to quantify and model language, such as words in novels or syllables in poetry, to uncover hidden patterns in a single text or body of texts. In this course, we will help you find and explore newly available texts of interest to you and guide your understanding of textual phenomena obtained through computational methods, enriching your reading of an individual text. As a connector course to Data 8 (Foundations of Data Science), this class will give students experience in the Python programming language.