Graphs, Maps, Trees . . . and Coffee

My day of digital humanities began with breakfast at Veselka in New York City’s East Village, where I dined on a delicious breakfast sandwich and started re-reading Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees.  I’ll be teaching the book next Wednesday in “Interactive Technology and the University,” a graduate seminar that I am co-teaching this semester with Steve Brier in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Doctoral Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center.

As you can see from our syllabus, which contains a great deal of DH content, our topic for next week’s session is “Data Mining, Text Encoding, and Distant Reading.”  In addition to Moretti’s book, we’ll also be looking at Lev Manovich’s chapter on “The Database” in The Language of New Media and the Digging Into Data competition sponsored by JISC, the NEH, the NSF, and the SSHRC.

It should be an interesting class, not least of all because students in the seminar come from a variety of disciplines, including English, Developmental Psychology, Philosophy, Urban Education, Archaeology, and Linguistics. I’m very curious to see how these students react to a text ostensibly written for literature scholars (though Moretti’s methods themselves draw on multiple disciplines).

If you have other readings to suggest for this unit, please let me know. And if you’d like to have some fun, please check out the course blog to see what students posted for last week’s session on Remix Culture; Steve and I asked them to present a favorite remixed artifact and to discuss it, from the perspective of a curator, in terms of its social, cultural, or historical significance.