Instructor: Grant Glass

Office: 505 Greenlaw Hall

Office hours: Monday 2-4 pm, Thursday 1-2 pm, or by appointment

Email: grantg@live.unc.edu

Section: 105i-28 (M/W 4:40PM-5:55PM, Greenlaw #431)



Welcome to ENGL105i: Writing in the Digital Humanities!

In this course, we will investigate how writing works at the university level in the discipline of the digital humanities. We will discover how to frame research questions, evaluate evidence, and make knowledge claims. In order to accomplish the objectives set for this course, you cannot think about writing as merely an assignment that satisfies a list of requirements to achieve a grade. Thinking about writing only as a means to this end renders it artificial, solitary, and static. Instead, I want you to view writing as dynamic and problem-based. In this class, you will participate in writing activities that call upon you to think about and place yourself in realistic rhetorical situations. Your writing will become dynamic by actively responding to practical situations common to academic communities and engaging with those communities. I want you to view your writing, as well as yourself as a writer, as a work in progress. This course is more than a series of essays for grades; it is a progression of encounters with rhetorical situations and genres that will prepare you to be a successful college writer.


We will work toward the following goals:

  • Reimagine, redefine, and understand the complexities of “writing” and “rhetoric.”
  • Develop skills and awareness around your own writing and writing process.
  • Develop writing strategies, awareness, and self-­assessment skills to help you confidently approach future writing challenges that you encounter in your academic and professional lives at UNC and beyond.
  • Tailor compositions to specific audiences and rhetorical situations by analyzing and adapting genre conventions.
  • Develop a social and process-­oriented approach to composition in which collaboration and revision are central components.
  • Compose across technologies and modalities.
  • Identify, evaluate, and appropriately use relevant research and resources to support your compositions.


What should I expect to learn?

In addition to the writing and composition skills mentioned above, we will explore:

  • structured data
  • digital maps, data visualizations, and network graphs
  • content-management systems
  • undertake sophisticated humanities research
  • speak, think, and write critically about the epistemological biases and affordances of all of these methods and tools
  • imagine other possibilities for humanities scholarship

Course Description:

Mark-up, coding, algorithms, data visualization…these technological words may seem completely unrelated to fields of study such as Literature, Philosophy, History, and Art, but they actually play a key role in shaping culture, society, and even human thought today – issues at the heart of the Humanities.

As a result, a new interdisciplinary area of study, known as Digital Humanities, has emerged to both explore the impact of technology on society and use new digital methods to analyze traditional materials in the Humanities, such as texts, objects, and archives. In English 105i: Writing in the Digital Humanities, we will explore this new area of study by completing three unit projects, each dedicated to learning a key digital method in the field and the types of composition and writing that result from it.

We will learn how to write within this discipline and along the way we will try to answer the question:  how to do humanities work with computers?