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Digital Textuality

Digital technology has changed and is changing human society and culture, with implications for politics, philosophy, and aesthetics. The increasing ease of use, availability, and sophistication of software used for evaluating and analyzing texts has also changed the way some scholars approach and communicate their findings within many different areas of humanistic inquiry.

Goals

For this assignment, you have two intertwining goals:

  • Use some software to analyze and draw conclusions about some cultural text.
  • Use HTML to code a web-based essay that communicates the findings of that analysis.

Expectations and Parameters

The final product of this assignment, an essay, must be "hand-coded" in HTML, using whatever image, CSS or JavaScript necessary to make you content compelling and effective. (You may use a JavaScript or CSS framework, but do not use a WYSIWYG or "drag and drop" HTML editor.) Similarly, your analysis must make use of at least one specific analytical tool (find several listed below), and your essay should mention that tool and describe how that tool led you to your textual discoveries.

Because the essay you're preparing will be presented on the web, it won't have "pages" in the traditional sense. It should, however, include about 1000 words of text (not including code) and demonstrate a good application of basic web design, including:

  • Well-crafted, legible code
  • A good use of color, layout, and typography
  • At least 3 images
  • Several links to related resources or other analyses

Otherwise, this is an analysis essay and as such should demonstrate features of strong writing including:

  • A strong thesis statement and logical structure
  • An evidence-based argument, supported with examples from your text and/or the output of your tool
  • Clear, effective prose, free of grammatical errors
  • At least three scholarly sources, properly cited using MLA-style

Host this web page on your domain (I recommend a subdirectory -- something like "yourdomain.com/analysis/"), and share updates on your progress using your Known site and/or Twitter.

Evaluation

This assignment is worth 100 points, or about 10% of your grade for this class. That 100 points is distributed among the following areas:

A Good Choice and Use of Analytical Software20
The Clarity and Validity of your Argument40
A Well-coded and Designed Web Page40

HTML Resources

Digital Humanities Resources