85448 - Digital Text in the Humanities: Theories, Methodologies and Applications (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Fabio Ciotti

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/14

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Course Timetable from Mar 12, 2018 to May 04, 2018

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing a theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of digital methods and tools for the representation encoding and analysis of texts (literary and not). At the end of the course the students will acquire advanced skills in the techniques and issues related to the creation and the dissemination of electronic documents and the creation and management of digital text archives.

Course contents

The course will give the theoretical foundations and the operational competences required to create and analyze digital textual resources. I will cover the following the following issues:

  1. Formal and computational models of textuality
  2. Advanced methods for scholarly text encoding and representation: XML and Text Encoding Initiative markup language
  3. Models and framework for scholarly editing and publishing of digital text collections
  4. The classical methods of text analysis: concordances, text retrieval and frequentist statistical analysis
  5. Distant reading and cultural analytics theoretical and methodological rationales
  6. Text mining textual corpora: cluster analysis, topic modelling and word2vec


Burnard, Lou. 2014. What is the Text Encoding Initiative? How to add intelligent markup to digital resources. Marseille : OpenEdition Press. Web. http://books.openedition.org/oep/426

M. Jockers. 2013. Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History. University of Illinois Press

F. Ciotti. 2015. Sul distant reading: una visione critica. Semicerchio, LIII(2)

T. Underwood. 2017. A Genealogy of Distant Reading. Digital Humanities Quarterly 11(2). Web: http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/11/2/000317/000317.html


Text Encoding Initiatives Guidelines: http://www.tei-c.org/Guidelines/P5/index.xml

Ted Underwood, “Topic Modeling Made Just Simple Enough.” The Stone and the Shell. http://tedunderwood.com/2012/04/07/topic-modeling-made-just-simple-enough/ .

Journal of Cultural analytics: http://culturalanalytics.org/

Voyant Tools: https://voyant-tools.org/

Teaching methods

The course is composed of classroom lessons, exercises in the laboratory, and the designing of a team project.

Assessment methods

The final examination consists of:

the oral discussion of the theoretical, methodological and technological aspect of the methods and tools discussed during the classes;

the presentation of an original project related to text encoding or text analysis.

The final evaluation of the student is based on the scores gained for each of the aforementioned points. In particular:

  • excellent evaluation: reaching an in-depth view of all the course topics and developing a sound project following all the principles and guidelines provided to the student during the lectures;
  • sufficient evaluation: reaching a partial view of the course topics demonstated with the discussion and providing a minor contribution to the development of the project;
  • insufficient evaluation: either not reaching even partial view on the course topics.

Teaching tools

Classes are held in a classroom equipped with personal computers connected to the Intranet and Internet.

Office hours

See the website of Fabio Ciotti