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LING (ENGL) 6885

Introduction to Digital Humanities
Credit Hours:

Introduction to Digital Humanities

Office: 313 Park. Office Hours: TTH 8:30-9:30 in person, via Skype (bill.kretzschmar) and by appointment (email me to set one up).

Catalog:  ENGL/LING 4885/6885:  A general introduction to the use of computers in humanistic study. Students will be exposed to the theoretical literature of humanistic computing and to several specific techniques popular among computing humanists. Students will also be expected to generate critical work and to complete a web-based project.

 Texts:  Schwartz, Foy, and Phoenix, Learning Perl, 8th ed. (O'Reilly, 2021). Chapters from CDH and LSDA are provided on eLC: A Companion to Digital Humanities, 2nd ed.,  ed. Schreibman, Siemens, and Unsworth (Blackwell, 2016);  Literary Studies in the Digital Age, ed. Price and Siemens (MLA, 2013; available online

 Course Conduct: In person lecture/discussion. On Thursdays, we will work on Perl programming. While ENGL 4885/6885 students need not have extensive experience with computer programming before the course, they must be willing to learn the terms, concepts, and techniques in use for such work. Quantitative techniques (i.e. statistics) will be discussed as needed, but students will not be required to run statistics on their data sets. There will be five in-class tests and no final exam ("continuous assessment"). There will be one short paper (5 pp) and a major paper due at the end of the term (c. 10-15 pp undergrad, c. 20 pp. grad). Papers will be argumentative essays prepared according to standard practices for academic papers, and include appropriate use of the scholarly literature. There will be a proposal (2-3 pp) for the final paper. In place of a final paper, students may choose to create a computer program or Web site of equivalent complication, and document it with a 5 pp paper. Grades will be based on class attendance (90 pts), the five in-class exams (250 pts), the short paper (100 pts), and the final paper (50 pts proposal, 150 pts final paper). 640 total points. Course info will be on the Web at the UGA eLC  (

Goals and Topics: This course will survey the field of digital humanities, including its history and principles. Applications in digital humanities will be featured, so that students will be able to imagine and create a project themselves. Literary and linguistic topics will be covered including text analysis and corpora, and additional topics will receive treatment in line with the interests of students in the course. Visualizations will be a special focus. All students will be expected to create computer programs related to digital humanities. Each student will pursue a digital humanities topic of personal interest for a term project.


Schedule: (LL entires are links to units on the Linked In Learning site; WK are class lectures)

Jan 10, 12        T: Course intro.                                   Th: eLC 1: Hockey, Install Perl         

Jan 17, 19        T: eLC 2:Laue, WK:strings                Th:  Install Notepad++/CMD, Perl 1

Jan 24, 26       T: WK: ASCII/lg/font , plain text       Th: Perl 2, EX 1

Jan 31, Feb 2   T: WK: scan/OCR,                             Th: Install AntConc,  Perl 3

Feb 7, 9           T: WK:corpus,            Antconc,                     Th: Download/use corpora, Perl 4                 

Feb 14, 16        T: eLC 3: Burrows, eLC 4: Hoover    Th: how to write a paper, incl authoritative

info, citation, structure, argument, license;  EX 2

Feb 21, 23        T: eLC 5: Renear, WK: TEI               Th: LL 1: HTML Essential Training, Perl 5

Feb 28, Mar 2 T: eLC 6: Thomas, WK: Quant anal.  Th: Statistics, Perl 6

Mar 7, 9          No class, Spring Break

Mar 14, 16       T: LL 2: Learning R, short paper due  Th:  LL3: Data Science Foundations: Data Mining (only R to reduce time), EX 3

Mar 21, 23       T: LL 4: NLP, WK: Vectors/Word2vec  Th: eLC 7: McCarty, Perl 7  (withdrawal deadline)

Mar 28, 30      T:  WK:complexity (CS)                          Th: WK: CS quant,, Perl 8, proposal due

Apr 4, 6             T: WK: databases, LAP DB               Th:  Access, EX 4

Apr 11, 13          T: LL 5: Learning SQL Programming   Th: LL 6: Learning MySQL Development, Perl 9

Apr 18, 20       T:  eLC 8: Liu, WK: Web 3.0/IoT      Th: eLC 9: Kretzschmar (GIS)          

Apr 25, 27       T: WK:CA, WK:simulation/GISCA   Th: WK: PointPattern, EX 5             

May 5              No class; Paper due by email.

eLC 1: Hockey,  A Companion to Digital Humanities, 1: The History of Humanities Computing

eLC 2: Laue: A Companion to Digital Humanities, 13: How the Computer WorksCooney et al., eLC 3: Burrows, A Companion to Digital Humanities, 23: Textual Analysis

eLC 4: Hoover, Literary Studies in the Digital Age, 4: Textual Analysis

eLC 5: Renear, A Companion to Digital Humanities, 17: Text Encoding

eLC 6: Thomas, A Companion to Digital Humanities, 5: Computing and the Historical Imagination

eLC 7: McCarty, A Companion to Digital Humanities, 19: Modeling

eLC 8: Liu, Literary Studies in the Digital Age, 2: From Reading to Social Computing

eLC 9: Kretzschmar, Literary Studies in the Digital Age, 6: GIS for Language and Literary Study


UGA Student Honor Code: "I will be academically honest in all of my academic work and will not tolerate academic dishonesty of others." A Culture of Honesty, the University's policy and procedures for handling cases of suspected dishonesty, can be found at Every course syllabus should include the instructor's expectations related to academic honesty.

The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources:

  • If you or someone you know needs assistance, you are encouraged to contact Student Care and Outreach in the Division of Student Affairs at 706-542-7774 or visit They will help you navigate any difficult circumstances you may be facing by connecting you with the appropriate resources or services. 
  • UGA has several resources for a student seeking mental health services ( or crisis support ( 
  • If you need help managing stress anxiety, relationships, etc., please visit BeWellUGA ( for a list of FREE workshops, classes, mentoring, and health coaching led by licensed clinicians and health educators in the University Health Center. 
  • Additional resources can be accessed through the UGA App. 

Face coverings: 

Because your instructor is of a certain age and at high risk, face coverings are recommended for all individuals in class. 

 How can I obtain the COVID-19 vaccine?

The University Health Center (UHC) is administering the COVID-19 vaccine for free to any eligible member of the UGA community over the age of 16. Vaccines are also offered by local health providers as well many pharmacies in the area. Students may continue to schedule their COVID vaccine appointments online through the Patient Portal.

What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms? 

Students who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms should seek care from the University Health Center. Please isolate until you can be assessed and do not walk in. For everyone’s safety, the Health Center is seeing patients by appointment only. For respiratory complaints, we will often schedule a telehealth visit via Zoom through which we can determine how best to arrange for both care and testing. To make an appointment via telehealth or in person please call 706-542-1162, or, if you know it use your primary care team’s number.

 What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Anyone who tests positive should isolate for 5 days, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, regardless of vaccination status per the CDC. You are also strongly encouraged to share your test results with those you believe you were in close contact with so they may take appropriate measure to isolate.

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