Study with CTS: BA level
The CTS teaches two year-long third-year undergraduate English modules:
ENGL3096 Text Technologies This is concerned with how the material forms of writing have worked and how they have shaped the writing we read. The module is divided into three 8-week parts, covering in turn "From Medieval Manuscripts to Early Printed Books", "Handprinting and the Letterpress", and "Reading and Writing in the 21st Century". These developments in text technology have considerably overlap--handwriting continued after the invention of the printing press and digital books haven't (yet?) replaced paper ones--and they are treated in three discrete historical phases in order to focus on their revolutionary aspects and each new developed transforms writing. We will look as such questions as how print culture disrupted and displaced manuscript culture, how the changing economics of textual dissemination affect what gets written and disseminated, and how the status of writing is connected to the medium in which it is disseminated. The practical elements of the module include learning how to print using movable type and the CTS's Albion letter-press printer and the creation of Wikipedia pages on scholarly topics. See the CTS Printing Lab on the 'Study with CTS' page linked on the left for pictures and videos of this aspect of the course.
ENGL3099 Textual Studies Using Computers With computers we can now ask, and answer, questions about literature that nobody has been able to tackle before. Who had the larger vocabulary, William Shakespeare or Jane Austen? What proportion of the places mentioned in Charles Dickens's novels are outside London? Is it really true that c and k are the funniest letters of the alphabet and occur more often in comedies than tragedies? This module gives you hands-on experience of how computers store and process literary texts and then lets you devise your own projects to ask entirely new questions that you think up and attempt to answer. No prior knowledge about, or aptitude with, computers is needed: it is all taught from first principles. If you already know how to do close reading, this module lets you try out its opposite: distant reading. Led by students' own interests expressed in their projects, we will cover such topics as how turning literary texts into lists, indexes and concordances throws new light upon them and how to mash-up literary texts with other sources of knowledge such as geographical, biographical and linguistic data to produce new insights. See the CTS Computer Lab on the 'Study with CTS' page linked on the left for pictures and videos of this aspect of the course.