This is a St. John’s University English Course that will investigate how digital technologies impact the way we read, study, and understand literature.  Digital technologies are changing all aspects of how we access, analyze, and conceptualize information. Together we will ask the following questions: How are What happens to literature and “the literary” in an age of digital technology? Modern technological innovations like the computer and e-reader reshaping our understanding of texts and their writers, readers, and interpreters?  What is digital literature and how do we contextualize it within a history of literature and literary aesthetic?  Although thinking about “technology” may call to mind relatively recent inventions like the smart phone, literary texts have been deeply indebted to technological innovations, from the printing press to the typewriter. We will look at some of the key debates in the long history of literature and technology.

The course also will introduce students to a rapidly growing field of study known as the digital humanities.   From the digitization of printed texts to the analysis of texts using machine algorithms, the course will familiarize students with digital humanities practices that may include data mining, building databases, websites, text encoding (XML), and working with electronic literature.  Together we will look at the ways in which the digital humanities pose significant challenges to familiar assumptions in literary study, from how we read to the meaning of authorship.

Course description taken from St. John’s University Undergraduate Bulletin Board


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