One fascinating element of Digital Humanities are that they constantly strive to reinvent the way humanists work, often by using visual, aural, and other nontraditional methods and approaches. In doing so, DHers often push the boundaries of long-established fields, including literary studies.

An idea I have been mulling over lately is: can you teach a literature course without books? Yes, this includes eBooks, tablets, computers, etc. Say for example you showed movies, went to plays, and talked about books without actually reading them (something many people already do in literature courses). Could you theoretically teach without reading? Without speaking?

Literature is one of the few areas where no one in the field can precisely define what they study. The above questions, much like DH and multi-media projects, ask instructors and critics to really think about what literature is, what a “text” is, and what is essential to the classroom.

 

 

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