Course Details


You can download the syllabus as a PDF as it was on the first day of class. But it’s worth noting that the authoritative version of the schedule and syllabus is this website.


The required texts for this course are the following:

You are welcome to purchase these books from the BYU Store; I’ve also provided links if you prefer to buy them on Amazon. You’re welcome to read these texts as ebooks, on whatever device you’d like. Whatever you do, be sure that you have your copy of the text by the assigned dates.

Finally, there are a number of texts that are only available from Course Reserves or online. You must have a copy of these texts with you on the day we discuss them, whether it is a hard copy or a copy on a portable device, like a laptop or tablet.


Assignments will be worth the following points:

Participation: 150
Blog / Annotated Bibliography: 150
DH Project Report: 100
TEI Edition: 150
Topic Modeling: 75
Stylometry: 75
Final Project: 300

Grades will be calculated with this range:

899-875 B+     874-825 B       824-800 B-      etc.

My Course Policies


The best time to get in touch with me is during my office hours. I consider this your time, and I encourage you to make use of it. Please don’t think of meeting with me as something to do only as a last resort but rather as an important and integral part of your learning. During the Winter 2018 semester, my office hours are from 1:30-3pm on Monday and from 10-11am on Wednesday. I’m happy to make appointments at other times—just email me with at least three possible meeting times. I can schedule in-person or virtual meetings.

After office hours, the next best way to get in touch with me is by sending me an email. Remember: an email to your professor shouldn’t read the same as a text or Snap to friends. I will do my best to respond to any email within 48 hours. Often I will respond more quickly, but it’s not something you should count on. In other words, you shouldn’t send me an urgent email the night before an assignment is due.


Our class relies on your active, collaborative, and engaged participation in activities and discussions. You should come to every class having read, annotated, and thought about the reading carefully and be ready to discuss them with your colleagues. Your thoughts and questions will provide the starting point for many of our discussions. Your active participation will be factored into your final grade for the course. If you’re reluctant to speak up in a group setting, please talk to me and we’ll figure out a way for you to participate. And since we have a very small class this semester, we all really will need to be engaged in our discussions.


This is not the sort of class where we have a textbook or some set content that you can master and then demonstrate during exams. The learning of the course often happens in the classroom. As such, attendance is critical. You may miss three class sessions without penalty. Each additional absence beyond these three will lower your final grade in the course. “Attendance” of course means more than your body being in a seat. You must also be mentally present, which means you must do the following:

  1. Be awake and attentive to the conversation of the day;
  2. Prepare assigned texts before class begins;
  3. Bring your assigned texts to class. If we’re reading online articles, you should either bring a device on which to read them or print them and bring that hard copy.

If you don’t meet these requirements, I will consider you mentally absent, even if you’re present. Please note that I make no distinction between “excused” from “unexcused” absences, so use your absences wisely (or not at all!).


Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due at the beginning of class. If you will miss class the day an assignment is due it is still your responsibility to it in before class. Late work will not be accepted, except at my discretion and with a significant penalty.

Late Instructor

In the unlikely event that I am late to class, you should feel free to leave 10 minutes after its scheduled start. Don’t count on this happening, though.

Final exam

Our final is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24 from 2:30-5:30 pm. BYU policy forbids me from changing the final’s time. Please add this date on your calendar now, so you don’t miss the exam.

Some Words about Technology


This should go without saying, but let’s say it anyway: you should put your phone and/or other devices  on silent before you enter the classroom. If your phone rings once during class this semester, we’ll all laugh and be surprised that you can get service in the JFSB; then I’ll ask you to put it on silent. If your phone rings again during class this semester, I’ll ask you to leave.

P.S. You’re not as sneaky texting under the table as you think you are.

Laptops / Classroom Computers

If you have a laptop, it will be very helpful if you bring it to class as we will often work on them in the course of a day’s activities. However, computer keyboards present temptations that many students find irresistible. If you choose to exit the class virtually, I will ask you to leave physically as well, and this will count as an absence. If you often seem distracted by what’s on your screen, I reserve the right to ask you to not use a computer, perhaps for the duration of the semester.

Periodically I will ask you all to log out or put “lids down.” This means I want everyone—myself included—to put away screens in order to focus our attention on another aspect of class. 

Technical Snafus

This course relies heavily on access to computers, specific software, and the Internet. At some point during the semester, you WILL have a problem with technology: your laptop will crash, a file will become corrupted, a server somewhere will go down, a piece of software will not act as you expect it to, you’ll lose a password, or something else will occur. These are facts of twenty-first-century life, not emergencies.

To succeed in college and in your career you should develop work habits that take such facts of life into account. Start assignments early and save often. Always keep a backup copy of your work saved somewhere secure. It is entirely your responsibility to take the proper steps to ensure your work will not be lost irretrievably; if one device or service isn’t working, find another that does. I will not grant you an extension based on problems you may be having with technological devices or the Internet services you happen to use.

This said, I’ll be asking you to do a number of new, exciting, and complicated things. I’m more than happy to answer questions about during class or in my office hours. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign that you, like me, are learning.


Despite what you might think, professors don’t know everything. This course is the product of my talking with colleagues. I specifically consulted syllabi from Ted Underwood and Natalie Houston. When I asked on Twitter, many people helpfully pointed me to the work of new female scholars working in DH. I brainstormed about the TEI assignment with Elli Mylonas. I talked broadly about the overall structure of the course with Mark Sample and Kathleen Fitzpatrick. Lisa Rhody has always provided invaluable counsel about topic modeling as well as suggesting that I remember that GitHub exists. Maciej Eder and Christof Schöch provided advice about stylometry. Lauren Klein’s paper at the 2018 MLA Convention convinced me I was on the right path. Jeremy Browne here at BYU is always a good sounding board. Sarah Aloe Peterson wrote the original assignment that I adapted for my 2009 poetry class, and when those students examined Duffy’s archives, they were the first to show me the letter that provokes this whole class. Elizabeth Chase reminded me of Duffy a few years later when I taught my first Intro to DH course. Finally, the class as a whole grew out of work my students and I did in my Fall 2017 “Intro to DH” course. Thanks, y’all.

BYU Policies

Honor Code

In keeping with the principles of the BYU Honor Code, students are expected to be honest in all of their academic work. Academic honesty means, most fundamentally, that any work you present as your own must in fact be your own work and not that of another. Violations of this principle may result in a failing grade in the course and additional disciplinary action by the university. Students are also expected to adhere to the Dress and Grooming Standards. Adherence demonstrates respect for yourself and others and ensures an effective learning and working environment. It is the university’s expectation, and every instructor’s expectation in class, that each student will abide by all Honor Code standards. Please call the Honor Code Office at 422-2847 if you have questions about those standards.

Preventing Sexual Misconduct

As required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the university prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment-including sexual violence-committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of “Sexual Misconduct” prohibited by the university.

University policy requires any university employee in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report incidents of sexual misconduct that come to their attention through various forms including face-to-face conversation, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. If you encounter Sexual Misconduct, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator [at] byu [dot] edu or 801-422-2130 or Ethics Point at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours). Additional information about Title IX and resources available to you can be found at 

Student Disability

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC), 2170 WSC or 422-2767. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. The UAC can also assess students for learning, attention, and emotional concerns. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures by contacting the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-285 ASB.

Mental Health

Mental health concerns and stressful life events can affect students’ academic performance and quality of life. BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, 1500 WSC, 801-422-3035, provides individual, couples, and group counseling, as well as stress management services. These services are confidential and are provided by the university at no cost for full-time students. For general information please visit; for more immediate concerns please visit