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Viewing: ENG 482 : Reading in the Digital Age

Last approved: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:01:30 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:30:37 GMT

Change Type
ENG (English)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Reading in the Digital Age
Reading in the Digital Age
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
English (16ENG)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Alternate Years
Fall 2017
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Paul Fyfe
Associate Professor of English

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Junior standing or above
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16ENGBA-16LLTEnglish BA-LiteratureElective
16ENGLBAEnglish BAElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLCRWEnglish BA-Creative WritingElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLFLMEnglish BA-FilmElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLLWREnglish BA-Language, Writing, and RhetoricElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLTEDEnglish BA-Teacher EducationElective
16ENGLBA-16ENGLMEnglish BA-MinorElective
This capstone questions how textual, reading, and interpretive practices are changing in a digital age. Using a diverse sample of literature, the course explores the consequences of digital remediation for texts and literary studies. Students will learn concepts in mediation, analyze works of literature on different reading platforms, and experiment with computational methods for literary curation, quantitative analysis, and data visualization. Students of all technical levels are welcomed; no special skills are required beyond basic familiarity with a computer.

This course is part of the new concentration in literature within the English major. Within that concentration, it satisfies the requirement for a seminar in theory or media. The course is intended to offer undergraduates a glimpse at the emerging materials and methods of the digital humanities. It does not require any technical expertise, but invites students into experimental practices in reading and interpretation with digital platforms and analytics and visualization software. Because of the hands-on nature of this work, the course size is necessarily kept small, blending seminar discussion and a laboratory experience with texts and computers. 


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

No new resources will be required or requested for this course. Dr. Paul Fyfe is an associate professor who developed the course as part of her standard load rotation.

During the semester, students will:

  1. Explore and identify an array of historical and comparative contexts for media technologies;

  2. Build and apply a concept inventory for understanding and analyzing various media and their communicative functions;

  3. Gain skills in working with new media texts and digital platforms for reading and interpretation; and

  4. Navigate the many resources at NC State for supporting digital scholarship, including the NCSU Libraries, MakerSpaces, Circuit Studio, and so on. 

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the affordances of different media platforms for the reading and analysis of literary texts;

  2. Apply basic techniques and methods in digital humanities to remediate and analyze texts;

  3. Compare approaches across traditional and emergent interpretive methods in literary studies;

  4. Design research projects which use digital tools to interpret, curate, and visualize texts and multimodal cultural heritage materials.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Participation10Our class will be conducted as a seminar which will thrive on the participation of its members. Participation means thoughtfully preparing any reading materials, exploring study objects, and communicating with the seminar. It includes but is not limited to speaking up in class. While this is strongly encouraged, our course will provide multiple ways of participating in the topic and materials.
Homework15Course Journal. We will write during and/or after each class in a hard-copy course journal. You will make entries based on different assignments and submit the journals biweekly for evaluation. The course journal will be the site for much of our “homework” during the semester.
Short Paper15Critical skills scenario. The first of three course projects, this scenario presents you with a problem related to technology in education requiring a researched and reasoned response. Specifically, it asks you to evaluate proposals for replacing print textbooks with iPads in K-12 education and propose a recommendation to a school district considering such an action. Responses will be assessed according to their depth, breadth, relevance, and logic.
Short Paper20Text analysis project. The second of three course projects, this assignment requires you to interpret a work of literature through entry-level text analysis software. It includes scanning, optical character recognition, and analysis in addition to your paper explaining your methods, questions, and insights.
Major Paper30Data visualization project. The final project is group-based. Your group will select from a list of humanities data sets, identify research possibilities based on that data, and process the data with the visualization techniques of your choosing. The group will submit a final paper with samples of their visualization and what research questions the group pursued.
presentation10In lieu of a final exam, the data visualization groups will present their work to the class in one the NCSU Libraries’ immersive visualization spaces. Presentations will be assessed on effective use of the space, clarity of communication, and narrative strength.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction: How to Read Things with Computers1 weekReadings
• Madrigal, Alexis C. “How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood.” The Atlantic 2 Jan. 2014. Web.
• Calhoun, Adam J. “Punctuation in Novels.” Medium 15 Feb. 2016.

• Course journal
From Page to Screen3 weeksReadings
• Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The Atlantic Aug. 2008. The Atlantic. Web. 17 Aug. 2011. <>.
• Keim, Brandon. “Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper.” WIRED, May 1, 2014.
• Konnikova, Maria. “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades.” The New York Times, June 2, 2014.
• Mueller, Pam A., and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking.” Psychological Science (2014): 1-10. [or PDF]
• Bogost, Ian. “Reading to Have Read.” The Atlantic, March 14, 2014.
• Mary Shelley (with Dave Morris). Frankenstein. Inkle studioes, 2014.
• Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (selections)
• Amaranth Borsuk, Between Page and Screen

• Course journal
• Screen reading experiments: Kindle, SocialBook, Spritz, &c.
• Writing experiments: quills and ink, Twitter
• Marginalia hunt in DH Hill Library
• Critical Skills Scenario
Reading without Reading4 weeksReadings
• Sample, Mark. “Notes towards a Deformed Humanities.” SAMPLEREALITY May 2, 2012. Web.
• Read in advance: Michel, Jean-Baptiste, et al. “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books.” Science 331, no. 6014 (January 14, 2011): 176-182.
• Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History. London: Verso, 2005. Print. (selections)
• Clement, Tanya. “Text Analysis, Data Mining, and Visualizations in Literary Scholarship.” Literary Studies in the Digital Age. Ed. Kenneth M. Price and Ray Siemens. New York: Modern Language Association, 2013. Web.
• Croxall, Brian. “How NOT to Read Hemingway.” Brian Croxall, Spring 2015. Web.
• Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

• Course journals
• Text analysis workshop with guest, Dr. Henry Schaffer
• Text analysis project
Data and Visualization5 weeksReadings
• Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
• Heer, Jeffrey, Michael Bostock, and Vadim Ogievetsky. “A Tour Through the Visualization Zoo.” Stanford HCI Group. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
• Posner, Miriam. “Humanities Data: A Necessary Contradiction.” Miriam Posner’s Blog 25 June 2015. Web. <>.
• Posner, Miriam. “Getting Started with Palladio.” Miriam Posner’s blog Nove 23, 2014. Web.
• Weingart, Scott. “Demystifying Networks, Parts I and II.” Journal of Digital Humanities 1.1 (2012): n. pag. Web. 22 June 2012. <>.

• Course journal
• Visit to NCSU Libraries visualization spaces and discussion with Markus Wust
• Humanities data refining workshop
• Group project planning
• Final projects
• Class presentations

n51ls801 (Mon, 14 Nov 2016 23:56:18 GMT): Two minor matters: The URLs in the Anti-Discrimination Statement are stated correctly in the section above it on student rights and responsibilities, and the URLs in the Class Evaluations block need to be updated.
aeherget (Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:31:51 GMT): AECHH: Added Capstone attribute at instructor's request via email 11/22/2016.
Key: 9535