MLA Convention 2017 (Philadelphia, PA)

Digital American Cultural Studies"

Session #376. DH 101: Revisiting the Introduction to Digital Humanities Course

Abstract: In my talk, I will argue for a theoretically grounded approach to digital humanities. I teach a graduate (MA) level introduction to digital humanities course through American Studies. The American Studies frame enables us to ask questions about the nation and post-nationality that might otherwise be given short shrift in a digital humanities course. In taking up the question of where is “America” in the digital humanities, my course foregrounds both new and old debates over the selection of objects and methods. From an initial investigation of the field history of American Studies, we move into theoretical issues related to digital culture and reading. These oppositional readings provided the grounding for the remainder of the term, in which each week is organized around a particular topic area (Game Studies, Social Media, Databases, Critical Code Studies) that can be framed according to one of the earlier theoretical approaches. Two short papers compare methodologies and a final paper and project enable students to put the theory into practice and to theorize their own work.


"Machine Learning, Distant Reading, and American Literature"

Abstract:The possibility of using digitized texts has given us an unprecedented opportunity to explore different texts and reading methodologies. ore than just electronic editions of existing canonical texts, digital archives featuring large numbers of texts, letters, and images enables us to reconfigure our classrooms around the idea of discovery. I teach both small seminar residential courses as well as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the American Renaissance. In these courses we have begun to experiment with tools that enable new ways of reading that could be organized under “distant reading.” Machine learning algorithms, including topic modeling, can now be used by literature students to discover concepts and themes contained within a large corpus. In my contribution to the roundtable, I will present some early experiences, the combinations of close and distant reading, and discuss the limitations of these methodologies. [Slides]


Teaching Literature in Public: Large-Scale Online Teaching and Reading

MLA Special Session: 506

Austin, Texas

Saturday, January 9th 10:15-11:30, 12A, ACC


This session examines the prospects and pitfalls of bringing the teaching and reading of literature to the broader public through large-scale Internet-based platforms. Panelists introduce the idea of building learning communities around texts and the various critical reading practices that have been and might be used in these communities.


James E. "Jed" Dobson, Dartmouth C (Presiding)
William Kuskin, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
Doran Larson, Hamilton Coll.
Caroline Field Levander, Rice Univ.
Elisa New, Harvard Univ.
Adrienne Raphel, Harvard Univ.
Emily Silk, Harvard Univ.
Benjamin Wiggins, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Catalyzing Community:

A Humanities Symposium on Digital Learning & Engagement

October 16-17th 2015
Dartmouth College

Sponsored by DartmouthX, Educational Technologies, the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library, the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Dartmouth College English Department, and the MALS Program

Join the Dartmouth teaching and learning community for a public event engaging the questions:

  • What does it mean to teach arts and humanities disciplines for a global audience?
  • How and why might we scale learning opportunities up in the arts and humanities?
  • How have instructors adapted new digital learning strategies for the residential classroom?
  • Learn from Dartmouth faculty and those at peer institutions who have taught Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) in arts and humanities.
  • Explore the impact of and potential for innovations in pedagogy and technology.
  • Connect campus and community educators around questions of teaching in the 21st century.

Agenda (Video Archived)

1:00 – 1:15pm: Opening Remarks (Jed Dobson and Lisa Baldez)

1:15 – 3:00pm: Panel Discussion (Michael Goudzwaard, Moderator)
Jennifer Brice (Colgate University): “Building Community, One Book at a Time: ‘Living Writers on ColgateX’”
Benjamin Wiggins (University of Pennsylvania): "On Specialization(s): The Role of the Humanities in the Future of MOOCs"
Donald Pease (Dartmouth College): “Re-Learning How to Teach American Literature through Dartmouth's edX Program”

3:00 - 3:15pm: Break

3:15 - 4:45pm: Panel Discussion (Erin DeSilva, Moderator)
Steve Swayne (Dartmouth College): “Making bee-yOO-tiful musiC”
Emily Silk and Adrienne Raphel (Harvard University): ”On Designing and Teaching Literary MOOCs: Reflections from Poetry in America”
Jed Dobson (Dartmouth College): “Keywords, Concepts, Modularity: Approaching the College Classroom after MOOCs”
5:00 – 7:00pm: Reception in the AHRC