Department of English

Tanya Clement


Associate ProfessorMFA in Fiction, University of Virginia; PhD in English Literature, University of Maryland

Tanya Clement

Contact

Interests


Digital Humanities, American Modernism, Textual Studies, Sound Studies, Scholarly Information Infrastructure, Humanities Data Curation

Biography


Tanya Clement studies the dynamic interplay of digital information systems and scholarly research in literary study by considering how the data, algorithms, software, platforms, and networks that comprise digital information systems are co-constructed with the services, practices, policies and theories that govern literary scholarship. Often working collaboratively, she leads teams to build and analyze digital information systems in the humanities, and uses the findings these activities generate to advance theory in critical cultural studies. Her work involves imagining what we don't know by evaluating and rethinking how scholars and institutions produce knowledge through the generation, curation, dissemination, and interpretation of literature as data in contexts that are constantly shifting due to rapidly changing cultures and technologies.

Courses


T C 302 • Fan Mail, Haters And Literary

42475 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 1.126
Hybrid/Blended
CDWr ID

Description: 

Literature we love to hate has this in common: fan mail and hate mail. Before Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, readers have expressed their opinions about what they see, and don’t see, in literary texts that are supposed to represent U.S. culture. But what is the impact of the average reader's response on how we understand literature in a culture, especially when underrepresented groups have a medium to voice their voice in the digital age, especially when it seems that no one reads books anymore but everyone has an opinion and the means to share it? This course will sample a range literature that fans love to hate from the 1930s to the 1990s through the reader responses still present in archival manuscript letters, databases of digitized texts, and archived blog posts as a way of introducing students to the everyday cultures of critical reading and the histories of marginalized voices who have participated in literary culture through reader responses. We will consider how we share those reactions and save these reactions, and what we learn about ourselves from reading other people’s mail. We will start with hate mail for Nancy Cunard’s controversial Negro: An Anthology (1934) and move on to letters calling Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936) “un-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Negro, Reactionary, pro-Ku Klux Klan, pro-Nazi, and Fascist” powerful critiques that led to profound edits in the script for the 1939 Academy-Award-Winning movie. We will consider the popular, confessional poems of Anne Sexton from the 1960s to the 1970s when her contemporaneous audience, often comprised of housewives or readers suffering from clinical depression, responded with surprising confessions of their own. Much of our reading will be focused on a specific group of readers who read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (1996) in the summer of 2009 online, and who keep the book alive and engaging through posts about how to read -and not read -the text.

This course is essentially about how “the other” –whether from the perspective of ableism, class, gender, or race --reads themselves into U.S. Literary Culture. By examining representations of these authors and books as they are represented in university collections at the Harry Ransom Center and online, we will pay particular attention to issues of representation and authority in literary study. We will engage in paper archives, institutional databases, and online archives and consider issues surrounding research, editing, information organization, and presentation both historically and in the digital age. Why do the haters hate and the lovers love? And should we care? How does the way in which we save and access reader responses impact our perceptions about what is “literary” and who has the power to decide what being literary means in a given time period?

Texts/Reading: 

Wallace, David Foster. Infinite Jest: A Novel. Back Bay 10th anniversary pbk. ed, Back Bay Books, 2006. [Excerpts published in literary magazines]

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts,Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. “Negro anthology” made by Nancy Cunard. The New
York Public Library Digital Collections. 1934.[Works by Louis Armstrong, W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Arthur Schomburg]

Sexton, Anne. The Complete Poems: Anne Sexton. First Mariner Books Edition, Mariner Books, 1999. [Poems: “Double Image” “Ringing the Bells” “You, Dr. Martin” “For John, Who Begs Me Not To Enquire” “Self in 1958” plus recordings of her readings]

DeLillo, Don. “The Angel Esmeralda” in The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories. Reprint edition, Scribner, 2012.

Mitchell, Margaret, and Pat Conroy. Gone with the Wind. Reissue edition, Pocket Books, 2008.

[excerpts removed from Gone with the Wind, the film]; Gone With the Wind. Victor Fleming, 1939. Perf. Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland. Youtube.

Course Requirements:

Writing (50%) Writing includes evaluation of reader response, creation of reader response, and analyses of primary sources in the context of reader responses. Beyond the minor weekly writing assignments (200 words) assessed as part of the discussion grade (see below), there are three major writing assignments:

Analysis of reader response presentation online (3-5 pages, 750-1250 words) 10%; Analysis of reader response presentation in a manuscript collection with peer reviews(5-7 pgs, 1250-1750 words)15%;Final paper on a reader response collection of the student’s choosing (7-10 pgs, 1750-2500 words)25%.

Oral Presentation (10%) Two oral presentations on aspects of the course material are required of each student. At least one presentation is part of a group. Part of the grade is awarded for the quality of reader response supporting the presentation.

Discussion (20%) Most sessions are devoted to discussion. Discussion includes minor weekly writing assignments. Students will demonstrate a familiarity and/or an understanding of all the readings required for the week by responding to a writing prompt. Except when indicated, there are required readings each week.

University Lecture Series (5%) Students will attend at least one talk (from the University Lecture Series) during the semester. They will write a short written response on any aspect of the content of the lecture that interests them as well as critically evaluate the question/answer session at the end of the talk. They will include in their written response a reflection on how the audience responses shape their general impression of the whole talk. What kinds of questions did the audience ask? What was emphasized about the talk with these questions? How, if saved, might those questions become relevant for a future understanding of the talk?

Participation (10%) This is a seminar-style course, so attendance and participation in class are critical to individual success in this course and to the success of the course as a whole. Students should come to class prepared to participate in small group and class discussions, completing all required readings prior to class, and submitting discussion questions on time.

Additional Information: 

Information Literacy: Multiple sessions with staff at the Harry Ransom Center will be conducted to introduce archival selection, organization, and access practices. Students will also learn how to cite archival and online primary sources with staff at the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Gems: Multiple visits to the Harry Ransom Center to examine collections relevant to all the course readings.

Flags: This course has a Writing Flag anda Cultural Diversity flag.

Instructor Biography:

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of English. My primary areas of research are textual studies, sound studies, and infrastructure studies as these concerns impact academic research, research libraries, and the creation of research tools and resources in the digital humanities (DH). I have published widely in DH and have won several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Mellon Foundation. I was the Primary Investigator of the 2017 PopUp Institute DH@UT: Building a Digital Humanities Ecosystem for Innovative Research in the Liberal Arts, which brought together faculty from the College of Liberal Arts; cultural heritage institutions on campus such as the Harry Ransom Center, the Benson Latin American Collection, and the Briscoe Center for American History; and the School of Information. I have also been the lead in developing UT’s first Digital Humanities undergraduate certificate and the dual MA/MSIS between the iSchool and the English Department as well as acting on the leadership team for the Bridging Barriers Good Systems project supported by the Office of the Vice President of Research. Some of my digital projects include High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS) through which she seeks to develop a virtual research environment in whichscholars and cultural heritage professionals can better access and analyze spoken word audio collections of interest to humanists with machine learning and visualization. I have only recently moved from the School of Information to the English Department and I am greatly enjoying teaching my UGS course Fan Mail, Haters, and the Literary in What We Love to Hate, which I will repeat in Spring 2020. I am writing this proposal in order to further develop the course for Plan II to include more research in the Harry Ransom Center with primarydocuments.

E 388M • Intro To Digital Humanities

35155 • Fall 2020
Meets T 3:00PM-6:00PM CMA 3.114
Hybrid/Blended
(also listed as AMS 391, HIS 381, INF 383H)

This course is a hands-on introduction to the Digital Humanities. In the Humanities,  we study how cultural context shapes how we create, understand, and interact with artifacts and systems. In DH, these artifacts and systems are digital. This course directs students to better understand the digital in terms of the humanities, including questions concerning Why digital: What knowledge systems are prioritized? What digital: What has been captured and what is not included? How digital: How have artifacts of study been produced, how structured, how made accessible? Who digital: Who is represented, by whose authority and for what audience? Where digital: Where does it come from? Where does it reside? Where does it go? When digital: What time periods and corresponding artifacts are represented digitally and what is excluded? 

This course will include learning to evaluate the nature of DH artifacts, projects, and scholarship through project-based exercises in creating and interpreting DH resources, and a close (and critical) look at the infrastructural, institutional, and political issues involved in creating, analyzing, disseminating, and preserving digital resources. As we look at the concepts, methods, and theories of DH through the perspective of practice, we will not only consider how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching but how the humanities can deepen our understanding of computational methods and infrastructures.

UGS 302 • Fan Mail, Haters, And Lit

59590 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 12:30PM-1:30PM PAR 305
CDWr ID

Literature we love to hate has this in common: fan mail. Before Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, readers expressed their opinions. But what is the impact of the average reader's response on how we understand literature in a culture, especially in the digital age when it seems that no one reads books anymore but everyone has an opinion and the means to share it? This course will sample a range literature that fans love to hate from the 1930s to the 1990s through the reader responses still present in archival manuscript letters, databases of digitized texts, and archived blog posts as a way of introducing students to the everyday cultures of critical reading, how we save them, and what we learn about ourselves from reading other people's mail. We will start with hate mail for Nancy Cunard's controversial Negro: An Anthology (1934) and move on to letters calling Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936) 'un-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Negro, Reactionary, pro-Ku Klux Klan, pro-Nazi, and Fascist' powerful critiques that led to profound edits in the script for the 1939 Academy-Award-Winning movie. We will consider the popular, confessional poems of Anne Sexton from the 1960s to the 1970s when her contemporaneous audience, often comprised of housewives, responding with surprising confessions of their own and "fantods" of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (1996), who keep the book alive and engaging through posts about how to read - and not read - the text.

E 388M • Intro To Digital Humanities

35280 • Fall 2019
Meets M 10:00AM-1:00PM PAR 104
(also listed as AMS 391, HIS 381, INF 383H)

This course is a hands-on introduction to Digital Humanities. This course directs students to better understand the digital in terms of the humanities and vice versa, including questions concerning Why digital: What knowledge systems are prioritized? What digital: What has been captured and what is not included? How digital: How have artifacts of study been produced, how structured, how made accessible? Who digital: Who is represented, by whose authority and for what audience? Where digital: Where does it come from? Where does it reside? Where does it go? When digital:  When is the digital at play? When is it in circulation?

This course will include learning to evaluate the nature of Digital Humanities artifacts, projects, scholarship, and teaching through a close (and critical) look at the infrastructural, institutional, and political issues involved in creating, analyzing, disseminating, and preserving digital resources in the humanities. As we look at the concepts, methods, and theories of digital humanities through the perspective of practice, we will not only consider how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching but how the humanities can deepen our understanding of the digital. No experience is required, but an openness to learning basic programming is a must.

UGS 302 • Fan Mail, Haters, And Lit

61285 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MAI 220B
Wr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

E 388M • Intro To Digital Humanities

35807 • Fall 2017
Meets T 3:00PM-6:00PM UTA 1.210A
(also listed as INF 383H)

Introduction to Digital Humanities

A hands-on introduction to guiding infrastructural and institutional developments involved in digital scholarship. Areas of focus include archives, collection, and scholarly editions; data curation; funding; text encoding; tool building; scholarly publishing; and visualization.

https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/courses/class_details?ClassID=4406

AMS 391 • Intro To Digital Humanities

30852 • Spring 2017
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM UTA 1.210A
(also listed as HIS 381, INF 383H)

This course is a hands-on introduction to the burgeoning field of digital humanities. Libraries and archives hold the majority of primary resources from which many disciplines in the humanities draw. As a result, librarians, archivists, and other information professionals have increasingly become the custodians for these artifacts. As collaborations between scholars and libraries increase, these information professionals are the purveyors for the born digital scholarship that result. This course will include learning to evaluate digital humanities projects, project-based exercises in creating a digital humanities resource, and an intimate look at the infrastructural, institutional, and political issues involved in creating digital resources in the humanities. As we look at the concepts, methods, and theories of digital humanities through the perspective of practice, we will consider how computational methods are being used to further humanities research and teaching. In particular, we will concentrate on the conceptual aspects of digitization and representation by determining possible purposes and audiences for the resource, describing and organizing it, and planning how to present those resources based on user needs. While the ideas we engage and the skills we will learn should be applicable to any digital humanities project, we will focus in this course on creating a specific collection that will be available online.

No prerequisites are required for this course.

Our practice will be grounded in theories of knowledge representation, information theory, mark-up theory, social text theory, and theories of information visualization. These theories will inform how we plan and design our digital resource, but the project will also be informed by interviews with humanities scholars who are interested in the resource. These theories will inform five primary areas of inquiry:

What is “digital humanities”? What does it mean to create a “digital humanities” resource, tool, or methodology? How do we negotiate the space between theory and practice in creating such a resource, designing such a tool, or developing such a methodology? How do we negotiate the audience’s goals for information seeking, discovery, and hypothesis generation with our own (or our clients’) goals and resources for creating such a resource? How do we imagine what we don’t know?

II. Specific Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will:

  • Learn an overview of Digital Humanities history and most popular (or most controversial) methods, 
practices, and technologies 

  • Be introduced to the theory and practice as well as the public discourse of Digital Humanities through 
learning to use and think critically about various standards, applications, and tools 

  • Express your ideas in class discussions and projects in ways that can be understood by other 
information professionals involved in Digital Humanities projects 

  • Learn to teach workshops, new technologies, and thinking through new technologies 

  • Hone teamwork skills 

  • Prepare and write grants in Digital Humanities 


1

III. Format and Procedures

This is a seminar-style course, so attendance and participation in class are critical to individual success in this course and to the success of the course as a whole. Students should come to class prepared to participate in small group and class discussions, completing all required readings prior to class, and submitting discussion questions on time. You will also work independently and in teams to complete a variety of course projects. These projects will combine individual accountability with collaboration, as is common in most positions that you will hold as an information professional. The success of this course will depend on everyone’s preparation and willingness to share their ideas and opinions, which requires mutual understanding and respect. You are welcome to express ideas that are different from your peers or the instructor, but this should be done politely and professionally, and in a constructive manner.

  1. 1.            Course Readings
  • All course readings are available on the course Canvas site at http://utexas.instructure.com
  • Please make sure to complete all readings before coming to class.
  • You will need to do additional reading to prepare for labs and projects.
  1. 2.            Use of Canvas in class

To supplement our in-class discussions we will use Canvas to distribute course materials, to communicate and collaborate online, to post grades, and to submit assignments. You can find Canvas support at the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., so please plan accordingly.

 

AMS 391 • Intro To Digital Humanities

30763 • Fall 2016
Meets T 3:00PM-6:00PM UTA 1.210A
(also listed as HIS 381)

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

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