This Week: Franco Moretti and Using Voyant Tools

Using Voyant to “not read” Dracula

The first time I introduced students to distant reading methods, I provided them with Franco Moretti’s “Conjectures on World Literature” and “Slaughterhouse of Literature,” two key essays that explain his purpose.  For the most curious students with some English courses behind them, these essays are a revelation. But for many students I found that the essays were too dense. So this year, I have provided a 15-minute online lecture that summarizes and paraphrases Moretti’s purpose in these two essays.

This video lecture provides the context for students’ work this week: Working with Voyant tools to learn how to (in Paul Fyfe’s phrasing) “Not Read a Victorian Novel.”

After #METOO. Lauren Klein’s blog entry became part of our course this year. This was one of those times when teaching online and in a community college course is highly challenging, because there was so much complex background to discuss. But I linked to Klein’s blog for those who could make sense of the conversation, and in some ways Klein’s piece became a bookmark for next year’s curriculum update.

Step by step instructions for this week’s work with Voyant tools are here and here