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Schedule of Readings and Assignments for English 149


The first eight classes of the course focus on selected readings designed to start students thinking about the relation between literary interpretation and other paradigms of research. These classes will run in normal discussion mode. From Class 9 on, the course will enter workshop mode where everything is geared toward facilitating--and keeping the rest of the class informed about--team projects. Some of the workshop classes will feature presentations of projects-in-progress; others will be "studio" sessions giving team members a chance to work side by side.

Solo assignment = Solo assignment  Team assignment = Team assignment


1. Theory


Introduction: "Close Reading" and Literary Interpretation


Class 1 (January 6) — Introduction [Class 1 Notes]

  • Course enrollment and organization


Class 2 (January 8) — "Close Reading" and Literary Interpretation [Class 2 Notes]


"Distant Reading": Digital Methods & New Models of  Literary Interpretation


Class 3 (January 13) — Graph [Class 3 Notes]

  • Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), pp. 1-33
  • Also: in-class introduction to textual-analysis and visualization tools


Class 4 (January 15) — Map [Class 4 Notes]

  • Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), pp. 35-64, 91-92
  • Stephen Ramsay, "In Praise of Pattern" (2005)
  • Also: in-class introduction to mapping software

Solo Assignment Create a bio for the course wiki, including your intellectual interests. (See Assignments)


Class 5 (January 20) — Model [Class 5 Notes]


Class 6 (January 22) — Text Model [Class 6 Notes]

  • Willard McCarty, Humanities Computing (2005), pp. 37-72 [in course reader]
  • Geoffrey Rockwell, "What is Text Analysis?"
  • Stephen Ramsay, "Patacomputing" (from his forthcoming Criticism in the Digital Age) [in course reader]
  • Explore text analysis tools in Toy Chest
Team Assignment Teams to be formed in class on this date.


Class 7 (January 27) — Sample|Adaptation|Simulation|Game [Class 7 Notes]

  • Sampling
  • Adaptation
  • Simulation
    • NetLogo (downloadable agent-based simulation-building program) [minimum assignment: browse the NetLogo site and learn about the concept] [maximum assignment: download and run the NetLogo program, which comes with many starter simulations]
  • Game
    • Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, "The Magic Circle," from Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (2004), pp. 92-99  [in course reader]


Class 8 (January 29) — Deformance [Class 8 Notes]

  • Lisa Samuels and Jerome J. McGann, "Deformance and Interpretation," New Literary History 30, No. 1 (Winter, 1999): 25-56 (online access from UCSB campus or use Library Proxy server) [also in course reader]

Team Assignment At least one team-meeting outside class by this date to begin brainstorming. (See Assignments)


2. Practice


Class 9 (February 3) — Project Idea Presentations [Class 9 Notes]

  • Read Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, "The Design Process," from Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (2004), pp. 11-13  [in course reader]

Team Assignment Choose a literary work (or part of a work) that the team will "interpret."  Present to the class your team's rationale for choosing the work and at least two initial project ideas. (See Assignments)


Class 10 (February 5) — Project Idea Presentations [Class 10 Notes]

  • (continued from last class)


Class 11 (February 10) — Workshop [Class 11 Notes]

  • Create a team task schedule and/or Gantt chart to map out who is doing what for your project, when those tasks will be complete, and how these tasks will fit together. (See Assignments)


Class 12 (February 12) — Workshop [Class 12 Notes]

Solo Assignment Write annotated bibliography. (See Assignments)


Class 13 (February 17) — Workshop [Class 13 Notes]


Class 14 (February 19) — Workshop [Class 14 Notes]

Solo Assignment Write 4-page research report on one of the items in your annotated bibliography. (See Assignments)


Class 15 (February 24) — Workshop [Class 15 Notes]


Class 16 (February 26) — Workshop [Class 16 Notes]


Class 17 (March 3) — Workshop [Class 17 Notes]


Class 18 (March 5) — Workshop [Class 18 Notes]


Class 19 (March 10) — Final Presentations [Class 19 Notes]

Team Assignment Formal presentations of team projects. (See Assignments) [Presentation Schedule]


Class 20 (March 12) — Final Presentations [Class 20 Notes]

Team Assignment Formal presentations of team projects (continued). (See Assignments) [Presentation Schedule]


(March 16)

Solo Assignment Final Essay due. (See Assignments)

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