Readings in the Digital Humanities

Occasionally, a colleague or student wants to learn more about the digital humanities. Here is a list of texts/sites/journals that are worth their consideration.


Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology is “published by the Modern Language Association of America. It is the MLAs first born-digital, publicly available anthology. It launched in 2013 and continues to grow. The editors welcome new submissions that will expand the breadth and depth of the collection, including pieces that offer primers on topics, tools, and techniques pertinent to computational approaches in literary studies as well as essays that deepen or nuance topics already covered in the volume.” Some of these essays are the de facto standard introductions to various dimensions of the digital humanities. They aren’t necessarily my favorites or even the best, but they do fall under the category of “everyone at least claims to have read them.”

Digital Humanities Spotlight: 7 Important Digitization Projects includes Mapping the Republic of Letters, London Lives, Charles Darwins Library, the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, The Newton Project, and Quijote Interactivo. This is an interesting collection of some of the more polished sites that are also publicly accessible.


DHQ: _Digital Humanities Quarterly.

DSH Digital Scholarship in the Humanities — the journal formerly known as LLC, _Literary and Linguistic Computing.

JDH: Journal of Digital Humanities.

And maybe:

CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics.

ISCLR 2017 Conference Schedule

This is not an official version of the schedule. Simply a readily available one so that fellow folklorists can see who presented what at this year’s meeting.


Supernatural Legends and Place

  • Constraints of Ghost Walks and Haunted Tourism in Utah • Kylie Schroeder
  • Mysterious Northeast Arkansas: Ghost Stories in Jonesboro • Richard Burns
  • Supernatural Creatures and Belief in South Louisiana • Carolyn E. Ware


  • The Mad Doctor of the Pennhurst Haunted Asylum • Shannon K. Larson
  • The Haunted Cheerio and Other Tales: Negotiating Belief in a Louisiana Classroom • Shelley Ingram


Local Legendry

  • Hidden Treasures in Welsh Legendry • Elissa R. Henken
  • Jean Lafitte and the Other Lex Non Scripta: Outlaw as Expression of Folk Law • Keagan LeJeune
  • The Peck Ranch Massacre and Formulaic Atrocity • William M. Clements

Legend and Media I

  • Slenderman is Coming to Get Your Little Brother or Sister: Teenagers’ Legend-Related Pranks on You-Tube • Libby Tucker
  • The One at the Conference: Podcasting and Legend Scholarship • Eleanor Hasken

Legend and Media II

  • The Myth of the “Killer 2026”: Serial Killer, Urban Legend, or Both? • Daniel P. Compora
  • Framing Children’s Narratives in Online Clown Legends • Jessica Doble
  • The Clown Legend Cascade: The Legend Conduit in the Information Age • John Laudun


Fake News I

  • Pizzagate, Fake News and Its Ostensive Consequences • Jesse Fivecoate
  • Crawford Road: Legend, News, and Stigmatized Places • Kristina Downs

Fake News II

  • Fake News, Folk News, and Contemporary Legends: Information and Belief in the Age of #Alternative Facts • Andrea Kitta & Lynne McNeill

Fake News, Folk News

  • Fake News, ‘Folk News’ and the Fate of the Far Away Moses • Steven Winick
  • Conspiracy, Legendry, and the Politics of Culture in the Case of the
  • Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code • Gregory Hansen
  • Cuckolding and Consent: An Analysis of Power and Sex within the Alt-Right • Bakr Abbahou


Narrative Motifs

  • Ambrož Kvartič, Shibboleth: A Mechanism of Language Differentiation as a Narrative Folklore Motif
  • Contemporary Legend and Rumor: A Response to Dr. Hobbs • David Samper

AI in 2017

I am considering focusing my English 115 this year on issues having to do with artificial intelligence, especially in relationship to human intelligence. A couple of recent news stories suggest that it’s a topic worth considering with my students:

  • In Digital Journal, James Walker reports that Facebook “Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language.” While it is true that the two AIs involved, Bob and Alice, appeared to have deviated from standard English, it isn’t necessarily the case that the language at which they arrived was “most efficient solution”. It was simply one solution given the inputs. Other inputs might have resulted in a different “speaking in code.”
  • Some of the work is actually available from Facebook’s Code site: “Deal or no deal? Training AI bots to negotiate”.