Department of English

Tanya Clement

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

Tanya Clement



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


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.


UGS 302 • Fan Mail, Haters, And Lit

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

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

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.

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 


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
  • 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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