Course Overview

Distant Reading is a year-long course in the Digital Humanities at King’s Academy.  The courses uses Wolfram Language to introduce students to new ways of engaging literature–all with the purpose of deepening skills in question formulation, problem decomposition, and argumentation.  The course takes its name from the book by Franco Moretti.

Course Description (2020-2021):

Distant Reading: An introduction to digital humanities

This course offers an introduction to the digital humanities.  Specifically, this explores the intersection between qualitative and quantitative worlds, between writing and computational thinking.  For centuries, scholars have analyzed texts computationally in compendiums like concordances, counting and mapping uses of words.  Now the computer and easily usable programming languages supercharge our ability to think computationally about words and language.  This course gives students first hand experience primarily in text mining and but also in exploring other elements of the now rapidly growing digital humanities field.  The course is meant to open students’ eyes to both the opportunities and limits of the digital humanities, providing traditionally STEM students a chance to bridge into the humanities and also providing traditionally humanities students an opportunity to explore the computational element of STEM thinking.

Below is a talk by Peter Nilsson at SXSWedu that shares the origins of this course, summarizes pedagogical goals, and include some live-coding to offer a taste of the work:

Go to: Syllabus