Digital Literary and Cultural Studies: Six Degrees of Francis Bacon // Schedule

The goal of this course is threefold: to give students a broad technical understanding of state-of-the-art methods in the digital humanities; to consider such methods in light of historical predecessors; and to run deep by illustrating their application in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (ca. 1500-1700). Each class will generally include a short technical presentation on the methods (with ample time for questions) before opening up to a more seminar-style discussion focused on texts, documents, and problems related to the Renaissance/Early Modern period.

Week 1

Aug 26 Introduction
Aug 28 Dataset design; Digital Humanities
  • Binkley (1935), "New Tools for Men of Letters"
  • Atkins et al. (1992), "Corpus Design Criteria," LLC.
  • Williams (1981), "Formations" (Ch. 3 from Sociology of Culture), pp. 57-86
  • Warren et al. (2013), "An Entry of One's Own, or Why Are There So Few Women In the Early Modern Social Network?"
  • Daniels (2013), "Legacy vs. Digital Models of Academic Scholarship"
  • Aug 29 No class

    Week 2

    Sep 2 No class
    Sep 4 Networks
  • Easley and Kleinberg (2010), Networks, Crowds and Markets, ch. 2 ("Graphs").
  • Newman (2010), Networks: An Introduction, ch. 3 ("Social Networks")
  • Michael Widner (2013), "The Digital Humanists' (Lack of) Response to the Surveillance State"
  • Nadine Akkerman, "The Postmistress, the Diplomat, and a Black Chamber?: Alexandrine of Taxis, Sir Balthazar Gerbier, and the Power of Postal Control"
  • Laura Gowing (1994), "Language, Power, and the Law: Women's Slander Litigation in Early Modern London"
  • Sep 5 Lab

    Week 3

    Sep 9 Networks
  • Easley and Kleinberg (2010), Networks, Crowds and Markets, ch. 3 ("Strong and Weak Ties").
  • Newman (2010), Networks: An Introduction, ch. 7 ("Measures and Metrics")
  • Mac Carron and Kenna (2013), "Network Analysis of Beowulf, the Iliad and the Táin Bó Cúailnge"
  • Sep 11 Networks and Critical Theory
  • Bruno Latour (2005), Reassembling the Social, "Introduction," Part I (pp. 1-158)
  • Alexander Galloway, "Networks"
  • Sep 12 Lab

    Week 4

    Sep 16 Reading for the Network
  • Elson et al. (2010), "Extracting Social Networks from Literary Fiction," ACL
  • Patrick Jagoda, "Wired"
  • Stiller et al. (2003), "The Small World of Shakespeare's Plays," Human Nature
  • Franco Moretti (2011), "Network Theory, Plot Analysis"
  • Sep 18 Six Degrees of Francis Bacon
  • "Six Degrees of Francis Bacon" Project proposal
  • Ruth Ahnert and Sebastian Ahnert, "Protestant Letter Networks in the Reign of Mary I: A Quantitative Approach"
  • Sep 19 Lab

    Week 5

    Sep 23 Information Diffusion
  • Easley and Kleinberg (2010), Networks, Crowds and Markets, ch. 16 ("Information Cascades").
  • Adar et al. (2004), "Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of Blogspace"
  • Leskovec et al., "Meme-Tracking and the Dynamics of the News Cycle," KDD.
  • Paul Arblaster, "Posts, Newsletters, Newspapers: England in a European System of Communications"
  • Sep 25
  • Lotan et al. (2011), "The Revolutions Were Tweeted: Information Flows during the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions," IJOC
  • John Law, "On the Methods of Long-Distance Control: Vessels, Navigation, and the Portuguese Route to India"
  • F.J. Levy, "How Information Spread Among the Gentry"
  • Sep 26 Guest speaker: Elaine Parsons

    Week 6

    Sep 30 Validity
  • Krippendorff (2004), "Validity," Content Analysis
  • Primary source project due.
  • Oct 2
  • Roberts (2013), "Linguistic Diversity and Traffic Accidents: Lessons from Statistical Studies of Cultural Traits," PLOS One
  • Francis Bacon, from Novum Organum
  • Robert Filmer, from Patriarchia
  • Thomas Hobbes, from Leviathan
  • Oct 3 Lab

    Week 7

    Oct 7 Search
  • Manning et al. (2009), "Boolean Search," From Introduction to Information Retrieval.
  • William Sherman, "Sir Julius Caesar's Search Engine" from Used Books
  • Noel Malcolm, "Thomas Harrison and his 'Ark of Studies': An Episode in the History of the Organization of Knowledge"
  • Ann Blair, from Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age
  • Oct 9 Digital Tools
    Oct 10 Lab

    Week 8

    Oct 14 Project proposal collaborative time.
    Oct 16 Ontologies.
  • Latour (2005), Reassembling the Social, part II (pp. 159-262)
  • Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker, "Notes for a Liberated Computer Language" from The Exploit: A Theory of Networks
  • John Donne, selected poems
  • Oct 17 Lab
  • Project proposal due.
  • Week 9

    Oct 21 Macroanalysis
  • Selections from Jockers, Macroanalysis
  • Selections from Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees
  • Oct 23 Cultural trends over time.
  • Michel et al. (2010), "Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books", Science.
  • Supplement
  • Selections from Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism
  • Oct 24 Lab

    Week 10

    Oct 28 Cultural trends over time.
  • Heuser and Le-Khac (2012), "A Quantitative Literary History of 2,958 Nineteenth-Century British Novels: the Semantic Cohort Method," Stanford Literary Lab 4.
  • Daniel Shore (2010), "WWJD?: The Genealogy of a Syntactic Form"
  • Oct 30 Probability
  • Reference: Manning and Schütz (1999), Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing ch. 2, "Mathematical Foundations"
  • from Ian Hacking (2006), The Emergence of Probability
  • Luke Wilson, "Drama and Marine Insurance in Elizabethan London"
  • Oct 31 Lab

    Week 11

    Nov 4 Clustering
  • Manning and Schütz (1999), Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing ch. 14, "Clustering"
  • Lawrence Stone, "Prosopography" (1971)
  • David Como, "Print, Censorship, and Ideological Escalation in the English Civil War"
  • Nov 6 Topic Models
  • Blei (2012), "Probabilistic Topic Models" (CACM).
  • Blei (2013), "Topic Modeling and the Digital Humanities", Journal of Digital Humanities
  • Weingart (2012), "Topic Modeling for Humanists: A Guided Tour"
  • Schmidt (2013), "Words Alone: Dismantling Topic Models in the Humanities," Journal of Digital Humanities.
  • Nov 7 Guest speaker: Patrick Juola

    Week 12

    Nov 11 Code and decipherment
  • Weaver (1949), "Translation"
  • Reddy and Knight (2011), What We Know About the Voynich Manuscript," LaTeCH.
  • Henry Veggian, "The State as a Work of Literature," pp. 78-91 from Mercury of the Waves: Modern Cryptology and U.S. Literature
  • Francis Bacon from book VI, De Augmentis Scientiarum
  • Nov 13 Classification
  • Manning and Schütz (1999), Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, ch. 16, "Text Categorization"
  • John Wilkins, from An Essay towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language
  • Jorge Luis Borges, "The Analytical Language of John Wilkins"
  • Nov 14 Lab

    Week 13

    Nov 18 Classification
  • Mosteller and Wallace (1963), "Inference in an Authorship Problem," JASA.
  • Jockers et al. (2010), "A comparative study of machine learning methods for authorship attribution," LLC
  • Tweedie et al, "The Provenance of De Doctrina Christiana, attributed to John Milton: A Statistical Investigation"
  • Selections from Reynolds and Saxonhouse, "Statistical Wordprinting" in Three Discourses: A Critical Edition of Newly Identified Work of the Young Hobbes, pp. 157-170 (1995)
  • Nov 20 Classification
  • Kao and Jurafsky (2012), "A Computational Analysis of Style, Affect, and Imagery in Contemporary Poetry," CLFL.
  • Underwood et al. (2013), "Mapping Mutable Genres in Structurally Complex Volumes", IEEE Big Humanities.
  • Jonathan Hope and Michael Witmore, "The Hundredth Psalm to the Tune of 'Green Sleeves'": Digital Approaches to Shakespeare's Language of Genre
  • The Marprelate Controversy: choose 1 of the Marplate tracts
  • Nov 21 Guest Speaker: Jacob Heil "Connecting History of the Book and Digital Humanities: Typefaces, the Book Trade, and the Early Modern OCR Problem"

    Week 14

    Nov 25 Visualizing arguments
  • Selections from Rosenberg and Grafton, Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline
  • Frederic Jameson, "Cognitive Mapping" from Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Section VI)
  • Drucker (2011), "Graphesis: Visual knowledge production and representation"
  • Nov 27 No class
    Nov 28 No class

    Week 15

    Dec 2 Student presentations

    Week 16

    Dec 9 Final projects due