Current Courses — Winter 2024

Core Courses

TXTDS 401: Text Technologies: Textual Trails — Archival Legacies from Medieval and Early Modern Iberia
Offered jointly with: SPS 491
Credits: 5
GE: A&H and SSc
Professor Juan Pablo Rodríguez Argente
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Course counts as a Core Course in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities Minor

Description: The Iberian Peninsula has, throughout its history, been the stage for encounters and clashes of a long list of cultures, a province of empires, and the origin of empires. As a crossroads, it has also been a privileged setting for textual encounters, a unique stage for the production and storage of documents.

This course aims to trace the path of some episodes of this history. From the lush Caliphate of Cordoba to the cultural project of Alfonso X. From the establishment of the Archivo de Indias, where the first European movements in America are recorded, to the project of Hernando Colón, the son of Christopher Columbus, to build the largest library of his time.

Sometimes, the paths lead to the United States. How is it that we find extensive collections of parchment and medieval Iberian documents in its universities? Other times, the archives vanish in smoke or in the stomachs of rats and worms, reflecting the dire consequences of the Napoleonic occupation or collateral damage from the desamortización process undertaken in the 1800s with the intention of modernizing Spain.


TXTDS 404/TXTDS 504: Texts, Publics, and Publication
Credits: 5
GE: A&H and SSc [for TXTDS 404]
Professor Geoffrey Turnovsky
View in MyPlan: TXTDS 404 and TXTDS 504
TXTDS 404 counts as a Core Course in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities Minor
TXTDS 504 counts towards the Graduate Certificate in Textual and Digital Studies

Description: This course offers a hands-on exploration of the nature of texts, of the complexities of transforming and working with historical texts as data; of the practice of editing in a digital environment using historical printed sources, and of issues connected to publication, visualization, interface, reading, and access. Students will work in teams to develop digital editions based on printed or manuscript sources, potentially working with items or collections in UW Special Collections.

In the course, we’ll learn the essentials of digital text editing and encoding, including transcription in XML using the widely-adopted guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) along with protocols for collaboration. We’ll also look at text processing using XML-based languages like XPath, XSLT and XQuery, and basic techniques for web publishing. No prior experience with any of this is required or expected.


ITAL 354 A: Travels, Migrations, and Exile. Encounters with the Other in Textual and Digital Archives
Offered jointly with: C LIT 361 A
Credits: 5
GE: A&H and DIV
Professor Beatrice Arduini
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Course counts as an elective in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities Minor

Description: This course examines a variety of attitudes toward poverty in the Italian Middle Ages, from traditional ‘negative’ views of poverty as a disgrace, to the recognition of the value of poverty as ‘unrecognized wealth’ in the Christian tradition and its political implications, to the shame and humiliation associated with incarceration and slavery. In addition to gaining historical background on the 14th and 15th centuries, students will engage in a digital project exploring how to archive the literary and visual tradition associated with these themes.


NEAR E 351A/MELC 351 A: Royal Literature in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
Credits: 5
GE: SSc and DIV
Professor Kathryn Medill
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Course counts as an elective in Textual Studies and Digital Humanities Minor