Free Online Course on Literature in the Digital Age

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The University of Basel is offering free online course on Literature in the Digital Age: from Close Reading to Distant Reading. This course is for people from all walks of life who enjoy reading literature and would like to know how literary scholars interpret texts in the digital age.

In this six week course, applicants will learn new ways of interpreting literary texts, from time-tested methods to computer-assisted practices such as distant reading. This course will start on April 23, 2018.

Course At Glance

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 4 hours/week
Subject: Literature in the Digital Age: from Close Reading to Distant Reading
Institution: University of Basel and Future learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Course starts on April 23, 2018

Providers’ Details

The University of Basel has an international reputation of outstanding achievements in research and teaching.

About This Course

This free online course addresses these questions as it introduces you to a variety of ways of interpreting literary texts. We will look into time-tested methods such as close reading and will also address more recent practices such as distant reading.

Why Take This Course?

As we make sense of what we read, we construe meaning using the cultural technique of interpretation. Only rarely do we actually reflect this process: what are the means that help us understand literary texts? How does interpretation work? And how has our increasing use of electronic devices changed the way we read and interpret literature?

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to…

  • Reflect on the different lay and professional reading strategies that are available for reading literature today.
  • Describe the various media in which we read literature in the digital age.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different reading strategies.
  • Apply the core method of literary studies: close reading.
  • Investigate the various strategies you use on a daily basis as you read online texts.
  • Engage in a cooperative form of online reading called social reading.
  • Compare two forms of historical readings of literary texts: historical and literary-historical contextualization.
  • Discuss the uses and limitations of distant reading, a recent scholarly approach to literary texts that relies on big data and computer analysis.
  • Report on your own distant reading experiment, using the Google Ngram Viewer.
  • Explore approaches to literary texts that do not seek to interpret them but focus on their surface and materiality.

Requirements

This course is for people from all walks of life who enjoy reading literature and would like to know how literary scholars interpret texts in the digital age.

If you are a student looking for an introduction to literary analysis, Literature in the Digital Age will help you find it.

The only requirement is that you like to read and love to reflect your experience and discuss it with others.

Instructors

Philipp Schweighauser

Associate Professor and Head of American and General Literatures at the Department of English of the University of Basel, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Peter Schnetz, University of Basel).

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof oflearning on the course topic(s)).

Apply Now

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