English and Film Studies

ENGL 575 B1: Visualizing Literature

H. Quamen

This course is a graduate-level introduction to data visualization for literary students. We will start by engaging the current debate, following Johanna Drucker and others, about whether “literature” can actually be represented as “data.” We’ll examine how that debate shapes the kinds of visualizations most commonly used in literary studies—visualizations as currently used in the scholarly works of Moretti, Ramsay, Jockers, and others. For example, despite her assertion that it is “pernicious” to view literature as data, Drucker nonetheless proposes many radical and innovative data visualizations that, even now, push the envelope of current visualization toolkits.